September 12, 2017 / 11:33 AM / 3 months ago

Sri Lankan shares end marginally higher; block deals boost turnover

COLOMBO, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended with modest gains on Tuesday as local investors picked up beverage and trading shares, while block deals boosted the turnover to more than a two-month high.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.08 percent firmer at 6,377.38.

The Colombo stock index fell 0.2 percent last week, its eighth straight weekly drop.

Top mobile phone operator Dialog Axiata after market hours said that it acquired 80.34 percent of Colombo Trust Finance for 1.072 billion rupees ($7 million).

Turnover was 2.03 billion rupees ($13.29 million), the highest since June 23 and well above this year’s daily average of around 863.5 million rupees.

“It was a good day and even as the market ended nearly flat, there were a lot of crossings,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Holdings.

“The good sign is the buying interest from the local side that was lacking for a while was seen today even though the foreigners were net sellers.”

Shares in Dialog Axiata Plc rose 0.9 percent and conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc ended 0.06 percent firmer.

Shares of Singer Sri Lanka Plc rose 18.2 percent while Ceylon Cold Stores Plc ended 3.2 percent firmer and Ceylon Tobacco Co Plc gained 1 percent.

Foreign investors net sold 155.6 million rupees worth of shares on Tuesday. But they have been net buyers of 27.7 billion rupees worth equities so far this year. ($1 = 152.8000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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