October 4, 2017 / 12:33 PM / 17 days ago

Sri Lankan stx hit 8-wk high on foreign buying in Commercial Bank

COLOMBO, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares rose for a fifth straight session on Wednesday and closed at their highest in nearly eight weeks as foreign investors bought shares in top lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc.

Foreign investors bought a net 1.9 billion rupees ($12.4 million) worth of shares, mainly Commercial bank, marking the biggest single-session net foreign buying since April 19 and extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 19.9 billion rupees in equities.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.2 percent higher at 6,507.09, its highest close since Aug. 10.

Heavy foreign buying boosted the day’s turnover to 2.4 billion rupees, the highest since Sept. 15 and more than double this year’s daily average of 923.4 million rupees.

Commercial Bank, which surged 4 percent, accounted for about 79 percent of the day’s turnover.

“There was a significant interest in banking and finance shares as the segment is heavily undervalued,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at First Capital Holdings.

Shares of Lion Brewery Plc gained 3.9 percent while Lanka ORIX Leasing Company Plc ended 4.1 percent higher.

Sri Lanka’s markets will be closed on Thursday for a Buddhist holiday. ($1 = 153.2000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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