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Sri Lankan shares slip from 17-mth high ahead of cbank rate review


Thu Jun 22, 2017

Sri Lankan shares fell on Thursday in low turnover, retreating from a 17-month closing high, as investors awaited the central bank’s monetary policy review.

The central bank is expected to keep its key policy rates steady at more than three-year highs, a Reuters poll showed. The policy announcement is due on Friday at 0200 GMT.

Investors are worried of a possible rate hike, said Jaliya Wijeratne, CEO, First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

“Only a few counters traded today. Buyers want top blue chip John Keells Holdings, but sellers were not ready to sell at the price buyers wanted.”

Keells, outperforming the overall index, ended 0.7 percent firmer.

The Colombo stock index fell 0.3 percent to 6,714.73, slipping from its highest close since Jan. 7, 2016 hit in the previous session.

Turnover was 495.5 million rupees ($3.2 million), about half of this year’s daily average of 905.7 million rupees.

Foreign investors sold a net 14.6 million rupees ($95,362) worth of shares on Thursday, but they have been net buyers of 20.86 billion rupees of equities so far this year.

Shares of Ceylinco Insurance Plc lost 6.7 percent, while Hemas Holdings Plc ended 2.3 percent weaker, and BRAC Lanka Finance Plc fell 15.5 percent. ($1 = 153.1000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Shihar Aneez and Ranga Sirilal; 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.<