COLOMBO Dec 5 Sri Lankan shares rose for a
third straight session on Monday to close at a near three-week
high as investors sought bargains in banking shares after the
benchmark index fell to a near eight-month low last week.
The Colombo stock index gained 0.67 percent or 42.55
points to 6,368.12, its highest close since Nov. 15. The bourse
gained 1.17 percent last week, recording its first weekly gain
The banking index rose 1.35 percent with Commercial
Care Plc leading the gains to end 9.87 percent higher.
The island nation's biggest listed lender, Commercial Bank of
Ceylon Plc, rose 0.14 percent.
"We have seen the high net worth and institutional investors
taking opportunity of the oversold market and are grabbing
fundamentally sound shares," said Yohan Samarakkody, head of
research, SC Securities (Pvt) Ltd.
Foreign investors bought a net 13.5 million rupees worth of
shares on Monday, but they have been net sellers of 1.83 billion
rupees worth of shares so far this year.
Turnover stood at 1.02 billion rupees ($6.89 million), well
above this year's daily average of 699.4 million rupees.
The index had hit a near eight-month low on Tuesday on
concerns that the proposed hike in various taxes and fees would
reduce disposable income and challenge consumption-led growth.
The government aims to boost its 2017 tax revenue by 27
percent to 1.82 trillion rupees year-on-year and meet a
commitment given to the International Monetary Fund in return
for a $1.5 billion loan in May.
Brokers said investors were concerned about the
sustainability of rates after the central bank on Tuesday kept
key rates unchanged.
Shares of Asiri Hospitals rose 3.11 percent while
conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc rose 0.67
($1 = 148.1000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Vyas Mohan)