COLOMBO May 9 Sri Lankan shares closed little
changed on Tuesday, hovering near their highest close in about
one year, with gains in banks offset by losses in beverage and
Stockbrokers said they expect the bullish trend to continue
after holidays with the central bank holding key policy rates
steady amid falling T-bill yields.
With the pressure on the rupee abating and yields for
government securities easing, the central bank kept key interest
rates steady at more than three-year highs at a policy meeting
The Colombo stock index ended 0.01 percent weaker at
6,666.83, hovering near its highest close since May 18, 2016 hit
on Monday. It added 0.5 percent last week, its sixth straight
"With the rates being held steady and yields in T-bills
coming down, the market will continue the bullish run after
holidays," said Hussain Gani, deputy CEO at Softlogic
Volume was moderate as many investors were on the sidelines
ahead of holidays. The financial markets will be closed on
Wednesday and Thursday for Buddhist religious holidays.
Turnover stood at 720.9 million rupees ($4.74 million), less
than this year's daily average of 894 million rupees.
Foreign investors net bought shares worth 30.1 million
rupees, extending their year-to-date investment in equities to
16.77 billion rupees.
They bought a net 14.28 billion rupees in the last 32
sessions, and out of these, the bourse saw net foreign buying in
Reduction of 36-38 basis points in T-bill yields in the last
three weeks, stable currency on expectation of inflows from
foreign borrowing, and an IMF statement on the disbursement of
the third tranche of a $1.5 billion loan, have helped boost
sentiment, analysts said.,,
Shares in Nestle Lanka Plc ended 1.7 percent
weaker, Sri Lanka Telecom Plc fell 1.7 percent and
conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc ended 0.2 percent
Lanka ORIX Leasing Co Plc ended 4.1 percent
firmer, while Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc, the
country's biggest listed lender, climbed 0.3 percent.
($1 = 152.2000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by