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Sri Lankan shares end steady ahead of long weekend


AUGUST 31, 2017

COLOMBO, Aug 31 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares were flat at the close of trade on Thursday, as gains led by industrial and telecom counters were offset by losses in stocks of manufacturing companies.

The Colombo stock index edged up 0.01 percent to 6,390.74, but fell 0.3 percent during the week, its seventh straight weekly fall. It has shed more than 4 percent since July 27 up to Thursday’s close.

Sri Lanka’s stock and foreign exchange markets are closed on Friday for a religious holiday.

Diversified conglomerate Hemas Holdings Plc ended 0.9 percent higher, while Sri Lanka Telecom Plc rose 1 percent.

Knitted fabrics manufacturer Teejay Lanka Plc fell 2.2 percent, while conglomerate Richard Pieris Plc dropped 1.7 percent.

“We…see the accumulation of blue chips is continuing,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at First Capital Holdings. “We don’t see a big uptrend, but we see a complete slowdown in the downtrend.”

Foreign investors net sold 70.5 million rupees ($461,690) worth of shares, but they have net bought 27.5 billion rupees worth equities so far this year.

“We are yet to see big foreign inflows for the market to start a run. But we hope it will return after the tax confirmation following the Inland Revenue Bill,” Mathew said.

The bill, Sri Lanka’s major tax reform since independence from Britain in 1948, seeks to expand the tax net and stamp out evasion. It is expected to be presented in parliament on Sept. 6.

Turnover stood at 845.3 million rupees, slightly lower than this year’s daily average of around 858 million rupees. ($1 = 152.7000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

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.<

First Capital is an investment bank offering services as Stock Brokers in Sri Lanka. The Company acts as a conduit between retail and institutional clients and the secondary market of the Colombo Stock Exchange. First Capital’s best-in-class research team provide a series of actionable trade recommendations, daily and periodic market commentaries and publications for Stock Brokers in Sri Lanka.