October 25, 2017 / 11:45 AM / a year ago

Sri Lankan shares mark near 2-wk closing high; banks lead

COLOMBO, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan stocks touched a near two-week closing high on Wednesday, as investors picked up shares of banks and beverages companies, brokers said.

The Colombo stock index finished 0.36 percent firmer at 6,614.55, its highest close since Oct. 13.

Shares of Sampath Bank Plc climbed 4.2 percent, while Ceylon Cold Store Plc ended 2.7 percent higher and Hatton National Bank Plc rose 3.5 percent.

“Market is looking very positive and investors are collecting before the budget and earnings,” said Reshan Kurukulasuriya, chief operating officer of Richard Pieris Securities (Pvt) Ltd.

“Investors expect a business-friendly budget and good results.”

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera will present the 2018 budget on Nov. 9.

Turnover stood at 892.8 million rupees ($5.80 million), below this year’s daily average of 937.1 million rupees.

Foreign investors net bought shares worth 267.8 million rupees on Wednesday, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 19.7 billion rupees worth equities. ($1 = 153.8000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

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