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Sri Lankan shares fall to over 8-month low; Seylan deal weighs


Sri Lankan shares fell for a sixth straight session on Tuesday to hit its lowest in more than eight month led by financials as a Seylan Bank share deal cancellation weighed on sentiment.

Stockbrokers said the Colombo Stock Exchange cancelled the 1.3 billion rupees ($8.7 million) Seylan Bank foreign deal on the request of the broker with the consent of both buyer and seller.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe ordered a reversal and a probe into the deal as it failed to follow proper procedure.

The Colombo stock index fell 0.45 percent to hit 6,222.33, its intraday lowest since April 8, but recovered to close 0.25 percent weaker at 6,234.75, its lowest close since Nov. 29. The bourse has fallen near 1.7 percent in six straight sessions through Tuesday.

“The market trading was quiet. We expect the turnover levels to fall further. The next supporting level is at 6,000. We expect the index to fall in thin trade,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

Dealers said the cancellation of Seylan Bank has hurt the sentiment of potential foreign buyers.

Turnover stood at 537.6 million rupees ($3.61 million), less than this year’s daily average of around 744.7 million rupees.


Foreign investors bought a net 80.3 million rupees worth of shares on Monday, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 697.5 million rupees worth of equities.

Shares in top private lender Commercial bank of Ceylon lost 1.53 percent, while Hatton National Bank fell 1.87 percent to drag down the overall index.

($1 = 148.7500 Sri Lankan rupees)

(Reporting by Shihar Aneez)