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Sri Lankan shares gain for 3rd day to hit near 4-wk closing high


Fri Jun 16, 2017

Sri Lankan shares rose on Friday for the third straight session to hit a near four-week closing high as investors picked up blue chip stocks.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.36 percent higher at 6,718.83, its highest close since May 22, and recorded its first weekly gain in four.

Analysts said investor reaction to slower economic growth in the first quarter was mixed.

Sri Lanka’s economy grew 3.8 percent in the first quarter, slowing from the previous quarter’s 5.3 percent, the state-run Census and Statistics Department said on Thursday.

“The first-half growth will be affected by the drought and the floods, but we expect a pick up in the second half,” said Atchuthan Srirangan, a senior research analyst at First Capital Holdings PLC.

“But slower growth this year will cause a higher loan-to-GDP ratio, which is a concern.”

Turnover on Friday was 966.4 million rupees ($6.3 million), above this year’s daily average of 899.4 million rupees.

Foreign investors were net buyers of 63.3 million rupees worth of shares, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 20.71 billion rupees.

Inflation could rise in the short term, especially due to crop damage and difficulties in distributing fresh-food produce and staple food items, analysts said, after the recent floods and landslides, caused by the worst torrential rains in 14 years.

Shares in Hemas Holdings Plc ended up 4.2 percent, while Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc rose 1.2 percent. ($1 = 152.9500 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.<