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Sri Lankan shares at 18-month high on foreign buying


Fri Jun 30, 2017

Sri Lankan shares closed slightly lower on Tuesday as banking shares fell, but foreign buying capped losses while local investors waited for more clarity on a new tax bill.

Sri Lankan stocks rose to an 18-month high on Friday led by blue-chips as foreign buying continued, brokers said.

Analysts said concerns over a proposed tax bill weighed on overall investor sentiment.

The Colombo stock index ended up 0.66 percent at 6,747.07, its highest close since Jan. 7. The bourse rose 0.47 percent during the week.

Foreign investors net bought 432.9 million rupees ($2.82 million) worth of shares on Friday, extending their year-to-date net inflow to 22.2 billion rupees worth of equities.

“Market is up with the continued foreign buying in big-cap shares,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Holdings PLC.

Brokers said local investors have been waiting for some clarity on the proposed inland revenue legislation, which some companies expect will result in higher cost of production.

The IMF, which has long urged Sri Lanka to boost tax revenue through modernisation and simplification of its fiscal system, has urged the government to submit to parliament a new Inland Revenue Act.

Turnover was 1.2 billion rupees, well below this year’s daily average of 928.8 million rupees.

Shares of Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc rose 3.07 percent, while Dialog Axiata Plc ended 3.45 percent higher and Hemas Holdings Plc rose 2.82 percent. ($1 = 153.4500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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.<