COLOMBO May 17 Sri Lankan shares ended at their
highest level in over a year as foreign investors continued to
buy blue chips after an annual trade concession worth $300
million from the European Union (EU) added fuel to a rally that
started towards the end of March.
Index heavyweight John Keells Holdings Plc ended
almost one percent higher on foreign buying. The benchmark index
has risen nearly 11 percent since March 31.
The EU on Tuesday said Sri Lanka has regained a lucrative
trade concession, mainly for its top exports garments.
The Colombo stock index ended 0.39 percent firmer at
6,718.34, its highest close since Jan. 8, 2016.
Turnover stood at 1.75 billion rupees ($11.48 million), well
above this year's daily average of 899.5 million rupees.
"Foreign interest is continuing in blue chips," said
Atchuthan Srirangan, a senior research analyst at First Capital
Foreign investors net bought shares worth 902.6 million
rupees, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflows to 18
Reduction of 11-38 basis points in T-bill yields in the last
four 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 Ceylon Cold Stores Plc rose 4.4 percent
while Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc rose 1.4 percent and
John Keells Holdings Plc gained 0.9 percent.
($1 = 152.4000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas