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Sri Lanka shares recover after govt drops plan to tax trading profits


AUGUST 25, 2017

COLOMBO, Aug 25 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares ended firmer on Friday, recovering from an over four-month closing low hit in the previous session as investors bought battered shares following the government’s decision to drop a proposed tax on profits from share trading.

Junior finance minister on Thursday said that Sri Lanka will not go ahead with a proposed tax on profits from share trading that was planned as part of a major tax reform bill.

The bill is expected to be presented in the parliament on August 30.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.42 percent or 26.83 points higher at 6,409.37, edging up from its lowest close since April 18 hit on Thursday.

The index is still down 0.42 percent during the week recording its sixth weekly fall.

It shed 4.3 percent since July 27 through Thursday and has fallen in 18 out of 20 sessions on lacklustre corporate earnings in the June quarter and speculation that the new reform bill may impose a tax on stock trading.

“With the minister’s statement, some positive sentiment has come in to the market,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at First Capital Holdings.

“We expect the statement to clear the doubts over the tax and this sentiment to continue for next two to three weeks.”

Foreign investors bought shares worth a net 47.8 million rupees ($312,622.63) on Friday, extending their year-to-date net inflows to 28 billion rupees.

Turnover was 613 million rupees, less than this year’s daily average of around 859.2 million rupees.

Shares of conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc jumped 2.1 percent, while Lanka Orix Leasing Plc ended 3.4 percent firmer, Hatton National Bank Plc ended 1.3 percent up and Melstacorp Ldt rose 1.7 percent. ($1 = 152.9000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas Mohan)


The comments on this report are provided by the Capital Markets Research Unit of First Capital Holdings PLC an investment bank in Sri Lanka.

The company operates in the capital markets of Sri Lanka in government securities – treasury bills and bonds, stock brokering and share market investments, asset management, private wealth management,  retirement planning, personal financial planning, unit trust, margin trading, capital market research, trustee services, corporate finance advisory services including corporate debt structuring (debentures, trust certificates, commercial papers), valuations, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings (IPOs) and project advisory. 

The First Capital Group consists of First Capital Treasuries PLC, First Capital Limited, First Capital Markets Limited, First Capital Asset Management Limited and First Capital Equities (Private) Limited covering Colombo, Negombo, Matara, Kandy and Kurunegala.<