COLOMBO, March 3 Sri Lankan shares on Friday hit
their lowest close in more than three weeks, as investors sold
telecom shares and on concerns over rising interest rates.
The Colombo stock index ended down 0.42 percent at
6,101.51, its lowest close since Feb. 9. The bourse dropped 0.6
percent on the week, in its second straight weekly decline.
Foreign investors were net buyers of 70.8 million Sri Lankan
rupees ($468,563.86) worth of shares, extending the year-to-date
net foreign inflow to 963.03 million rupees worth of equities.
Turnover was 1.21 billion rupees, the highest since Feb. 28
and nearly double this year's daily average of 679.4 million
"Even today the crossings pushed the turnover. The foreign
inflow is continuing, which is a good thing," said Dimantha
Mathew, head of research, First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.
"Foreign participation is high and local investors are
completely staying out of the market."
Conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc, which
accounted for 72.5 percent of the day's turnover on block trade,
Sri Lanka Telecom Plc slid 5.44 percent, while
Dialog Axiata Plc declined 3.48 percent.
Yields on treasury bills have risen to a more-than-four-year
high since October, while the central bank has kept key policy
rates on hold.
($1 = 151.1000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sherry