COLOMBO, June 13 Sri Lankan shares on Tuesday
hit their lowest close in more than five weeks due to
profit-booking in blue chips, although foreign investors
actively bought into the island nation's risky assets.
Foreign investors were net buyers of 389.9 million rupees
worth of shares, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow
to 20.7 billion rupees.
The Colombo stock index ended 0.22 percent weaker at
6,648.40, its lowest close since May 5.
Last week, the bourse dropped 0.3 percent, posting its third
consecutive weekly decline.
"There was healthy foreign buying and the turnover was also
good. The index fell because retail investors are staying away
until they see some direction," said Hussain Gani, deputy CEO,
Turnover was 984.5 million rupees ($6.44 million), more than
this year's daily average of 897.9 million rupees.
Analysts said investors are still waiting to see the impact
of the recent floods and landslides, caused by the worst
torrential rains in 14 years, killing over 200 people and
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.
Shares of Sri Lanka Telecom Plc ended 2.5 percent
down, Lion Brewery Plc closed 3.2 percent weaker,
while the country's biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of
Ceylon Plc ended 0.7 percent down.
($1 = 152.8000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sherry