COLOMBO, Sept 14 Sri Lankan shares closed
marginally lower on Wednesday, posting their lowest closing
level in nearly six weeks, as a government proposal to raise the
value added tax (VAT) hurt market sentiment.
The government on Wednesday said the cabinet has approved a
proposal to increase the VAT to 15 percent from 11 percent with
some amendments, a move halted by the Supreme Court earlier. The
hike is expected to be implemented after parliamentary approval
later this month.
The benchmark Colombo stock index ended 0.24 percent
lower at 6,492.74, its lowest close since Aug. 4.
"Investors are worried about the VAT hike. Profit-taking was
also there," said Atchuthan Srirangan, a senior research analyst
with First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.
Turnover stood at 749.9 million rupees ($5.15 million), in
line with this year's daily average of 747.2 million rupees.
Foreign investors, who have been net sellers of 2.29 billion
rupees worth of shares so far this year, were net buyers of
407.3 million rupees worth of equities on Wednesday.
Shares of Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka Plc
fell 4.38 percent, while Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc
dropped 1.21 percent.
($1 = 145.5000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by