COLOMBO Feb 20 Sri Lankan shares hit a one-week
closing low on Monday, as investors sold shares of blue chip
firms such as Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc and John
Keells Holdings Plc amid concerns over rising market
The Colombo stock index fell 0.33 percent to
6,139.51, slipping for a third straight session to its lowest
close since Feb. 13.
"Blue-chips brought the market down. The profit-taking is
still continuing and investors are more on a wait and see
approach," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at First
Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.
"The buying interest is there, but at a lower level. So
investors are waiting to buy at cheaper rates."
Shares of Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc fell 1.83 percent,
while conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc dropped 1.22
Turnover stood at 728.9 million rupees ($4.83 million), more
than this year's daily average of 625.5 million rupees.
Foreign investors offloaded a net 34.88 million rupees worth
of equities on Monday, extending the year-to-date net foreign
outflow to 272.7 million rupees worth of shares.
The market will remain slow for the next few days and many
investors will wait for directions from a sovereign bond issue,
The Sri Lankan cabinet last week approved a $1.5 billion
sovereign bond issue to repay loans and manage interest
Yields on treasury bills are hovering at a more than
($1 = 150.8300 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju