COLOMBO Dec 30 Sri Lankan shares fell on
Friday, posting a yearly decline of about 10 percent, in thin
trade due to year-end holidays, while investors waited for
directions from the central bank on the rupee and
The central bank is most likely to keep its key interest
rates steady at a monetary policy meeting later in the day, even
as some economists expect further tightening to ease pressure on
the rupee following a rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve
earlier this month, a Reuters poll showed.
Speculation over possible depreciation of the rupee and rate
hikes weighed on sentiment, stockbrokers said.
The Colombo stock index closed 0.28 percent lower at
6,228.26, declining 9.7 percent in 2016, its second straight
In terms of dollar value, market capitalisation fell 13
percent, making Sri Lanka a worse performer than emerging Asian
markets like Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia
Stockbrokers said factors like failure to attract foreign
direct investments and lack of investor confidence due to a
reversal in some budget policies weighed on the market this
"We are going with positive expectations, though it is going
to be a challenging year for all," a stockbroker said asking not
to be named.
"Politically the government has to prove its policies while
the private sector will see some challenges amid possible
volatile external environment."
Foreign investors sold a net 6.4 million rupees of equities
on Friday, but purchased a net 633.5 million rupees ($4.24
million) in 2016, compared with a net sell of 4.43 billion
rupees last year.
Turnover stood at 202 million rupees, less than a third of
this year's daily average of 737.2 million rupees. Last year's
daily average was 1.06 billion rupees.
Large cap Ceylon Tobacco Co Plc fell 0.6 percent,
while Lion Brewery (Ceylon) Plc lost 3 percent.
($1 = 149.4000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)