COLOMBO Feb 14 Sri Lankan shares hit a two-week
closing high on Tuesday as investors picked up blue chip shares
such as John Keells Holdings Plc and Ceylon Tobacco
Company Plc, brokers said.
The Colombo stock index ended 0.17 percent firmer at
6,148.94, its highest close since Jan. 23.
"Bargain hunting in blue chips is continuing. There was some
block trades too," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at
First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.
Shares of John Keells Holdings Plc rose 1.01
percent, while Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc rose 0.59
Turnover stood at 548.9 million rupees ($3.65 million), more
than this year's daily average of 623.3 million rupees.
Foreign investors net bought 58.2 million rupees worth of
equities on Tuesday. They have net sold 313.1 million rupees
worth of shares so far this year.
On Thursday, Fitch Ratings affirmed Sri Lanka's Long-Term
Foreign- and Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) at 'B+'
and revised the outlook to 'stable' from 'negative'.
Sri Lankan stocks have been hit by political uncertainty
after ruling coalition parties decided to contest local polls
separately, and on worries over a rise in interest rates.
Last week, the country's central bank kept key rates steady
for a sixth straight month, but flagged possible "corrective
measures" in the months ahead in a sign further tightening might
be on the cards to temper inflation pressures and safeguard a
Yields on treasury bills are hovering at a more than
Sri Lanka's stock and foreign exchange markets were closed
on Friday for a Buddhist religious holiday.
($1 = 150.3000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas