COLOMBO, March 14 Sri Lankan shares fell to a
near one-year closing low on Tuesday as expectations of an
interest rate hike weighed on sentiment, after the International
Monetary Fund urged the Sri Lankan central bank to tighten
The Colombo stock index closed 0.4 percent lower at
6,046.79, its lowest close since March 30, 2016. The index shed
0.3 percent last week, posting its third straight weekly
The IMF urged Sri Lanka's central bank last week to be ready
to tighten monetary policy if credit growth or inflation did not
The central bank's second monetary policy review of the year
is due on March 24.
"Retail investors are looking at fixed deposits. Investors
will wait until the rates come down or they will invest only if
something that could boost the market happens," said Prashan
Fernando, who heads Acuity Stockbrokers.
Shares of Sri Lanka Telecom Plc closed down 2.9
percent. Biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc
ended 1.1 percent weaker, while conglomerate John
Keells Holding Plc fell 0.4 percent.
Foreign investors net bought shares worth 112.8 million Sri
Lankan rupees ($745,046) in the tenth straight session of
net-buying, raising the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 2.29
billion rupees in equities.
Turnover stood at 888.2 million rupees, higher than this
year's daily average turnover of 683.8 million rupees.
($1 = 151.4000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by