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Sri Lankan shares end at 1-yr high on foreign buying, trade concession


Tue May 16, 2017

Sri Lankan shares hit a one-year closing high on Tuesday with foreign investors buying blue chips such as John Keells Holdings Plc and as the island nation regained a trade concession from the European Union (EU).

The EU on Tuesday said Sri Lanka has regained a lucrative trade concession, mainly for its top exports garments.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.49 percent firmer at 6,692.33, its highest close since May 16, 2016. The index added 0.5 percent last week, its seventh straight weekly gain.

Turnover stood at 1.17 billion rupees ($7.67 million), more than this year’s daily average of 889.8 million Sri Lankan rupees ($5.83 million).

“Today the foreigners got active and with that we have seen retail investor’s also returning,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Holdings PLC.

Foreign investors net bought shares worth 281.05 million rupees, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflows to 17.08 billion rupees.

Reduction of 36-38 basis points in T-bill yields in the last three weeks, stable currency on expectation of inflows from foreign borrowing, and an IMF statement on the disbursement of the third tranche of a $1.5 billion loan, have helped boost sentiment, analysts said.,,

Shares in Dialog Axiata Plc rose 4.31 percent while Sri Lanka Telecom Plc rose 2.35 percent and John Keells Holdings Plc gained 0.85 percent.

($1 = 152.6000 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.<