June 28, 2017 / 11:49 AM / 5 months ago

Sri Lankan shares end marginally lower; foreign buying continues

COLOMBO, June 28 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares closed slightly lower on Wednesday as blue chips fell, but foreign buying capped losses while local investors continued to wait for more clarity on a new tax bill.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.09 percent weaker at 6,697.08, its lowest close since June 19. The bourse fell 0.05 percent last week.

Foreign investors net bought 208.6 million rupees ($1.36 million) worth of shares, extending their year-to-date net inflow to 21.7 billion rupees worth of equities.

“It was a flat market throughout the day and there were a lot of block trades. Foreign investors still continue to be net buyers,” said Prashan Fernando, CEO, Acuity Stockbrokers.

“Government funds have been very quiet and we do not see many retail investors.”

Brokers said local investors have been waiting for some clarity on the proposed inland revenue act, which some companies expect will result in higher cost of production.

The IMF, which has long urged Sri Lanka to boost tax revenue through modernisation and simplification of its fiscal system, has urged the government to submit to parliament a new Inland Revenue Act.

Turnover was 1.1 billion rupees, well above this year’s daily average of 929.8 million rupees.

Shares of Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc fell 3.84 percent, while Hatton National Bank Plc lost 0.96 percent.

$1 = 153.4000 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas Mohan

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