COLOMBO Jan 13 Sri Lankan stocks ended at their
highest level in two weeks on Friday, led by beverage and
manufacturing shares, as sentiment improved after a European
Union executive proposed that the bloc reinstates a trade
concession to Sri Lanka.
The European Commission on Wednesday said in a statement
that it has proposed increased market access or Generalised
Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) for Sri Lanka as a reform
incentive. Markets were closed on Thursday on account of a
The Colombo stock index ended 0.54 percent firmer at
6,217.72, its highest close since Dec. 30.
"The regain of GSP plus boosted the market. Investors were
positive over the news, but we wont think it will last long
because of the rising market interest rates," said Dimantha
Mathew, head of research at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.
The 6-7 percent concession earlier offered by the GSP Plus
had brought substantial benefits to the garment industry, Sri
Lanka's second-biggest foreign exchange earner after
Sri Lanka lost the EU concession in 2010 after
then-president Mahinda Rajapaksa rejected demands from the
international community to address human rights abuses allegedly
committed during a 2009 offensive to crush a Tamil insurgency.
The day's turnover stood at 519.9 million rupees ($3.47
Foreign investors were net buyers of 2.6 million rupees
worth of equities on Friday, but they have been net sellers of
1.7 billion rupees worth of shares so far this year.
Shares in Sri Lanka Telecom Plc rose 2 percent
while Carson Cumberbatch Plc rose 1.8 percent.
($1 = 149.6500 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas