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Sri Lankan shares end flat as investors await cbank rate review


Tue Mar 21, 2017

Sri Lankan shares were little changed on Tuesday in lacklustre trade, hovering near a one-year closing low hit last week, as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the central bank’s policy review.

The Colombo stock index ended flat at 6,041.59, near its lowest close since March 16, 2016 hit on Thursday.

Turnover stood at 283.3 million rupees ($1.9 million), less than half of this year’s daily average of 665 million rupees.

The index has lost 1.2 percent since March 7, when the International Monetary Fund called for monetary policy tightening if credit growth or inflation did not abate.

The central bank’s second monetary policy review of the year is due on Friday.

“The market is closely watching for the monetary policy rate announcement and sovereign bonds,” said Jaliya Wijeratne, who heads First Capital Equities.

“Local investors are just waiting for some direction, but foreign investors are buying counters.”

Foreign investors net bought shares worth 160.8 million rupees, raising the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 2.66 billion rupees in equities.

Shares in Commercial Leasing and Finance Plc rose 8 percent, while Lanka ORIX Leasing Company Plc gained 2.3 percent and Dialog Axiata Plc rose 0.9 percent.

($1 = 151.5000 Sri Lankan rupees)

(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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.