May 5, 2017 / 11:56 AM / in 3 months

Sri Lankan shares post 1-yr closing high on continued foreign buying

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COLOMBO, May 5 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares rose to a one-year closing high on Friday, led by banking and diversified stocks, on continued foreign buying.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.58 percent stronger at 6,640.57, its highest close since May 2016. It added 0.5 percent for the week, its sixth straight weekly gain.

Foreign investors net bought shares worth 82.4 million rupees ($541,215), extending their year-to-date investment in equities to 16.61 billion rupees.

They bought a net 14.1 billion rupees in the last 30 sessions, and out of these, the bourse saw net foreign buying in 29.

"The market is up with continued foreign buying and active participation of local retail and high net-worth investors, which was lacking for some time," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Holdings PLC.

Analysts said the market would continue to be bullish amid mild profit-taking.

The IMF said on Wednesday its executive board is expected to consider a request from Sri Lanka to conclude the second review of a $1.5 billion loan, which could help the island nation to receive the third disbursement.

Shares of Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc rose 0.3 percent, Dialog Axiata Plc climbed 1.7 percent, C T Holdings Plc gained 2.6 percent and Ceylinco Insurance Plc ended 2.19 percent firmer.

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc rose 0.49 percent and Hatton National Bank Plc ended 0.48 percent firmer.

Turnover stood at 767.5 million rupees, less than this year's daily average of 899 million rupees. ($1 = 152.2500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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