September 7, 2017 / 11:41 AM / 19 days ago

Sri Lankan shares recover from 4-1/2-month low on foreign buying

COLOMBO, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares on Thursday edged up from their lowest close in more than four months hit in the previous session, as foreign investors bought battered shares.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.02 percent higher at 6,362.18, recovering from its lowest close since April 17 hit on Wednesday.

The bourse ended 0.3 percent lower last week, its seventh straight weekly fall. As of Wednesday’s close, it shed more than 4.6 percent since July 27.

Shares of Lanka ORIX Leasing Company Plc ended 6.7 percent higher, while Ceylon Cold Stores Plc closed up 1.0 percent and Melstacorp Ltd ended 0.9 percent firmer.

Foreign investors net bought 332.1 million Sri Lankan rupees ($2.18 million) worth of shares, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 27.7 billion rupees worth equities.

“Market is up with some foreign buying,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Holdings.

“The market is slow as investors are waiting to see the direction.”

Mathew said investors are waiting to see the clarity on taxes following the Inland Revenue Bill and also waiting to see the outcome of the U.S Fed rate announcement.

The bill, Sri Lanka’s major tax reform since independence from Britain in 1948, seeks to expand the tax net and stamp out evasion. It is expected to be presented in the parliament on Sept. 7.

Turnover stood at 627.6 million rupees, less than this year’s daily average of around 860.9 million rupees.

$1 = 152.4000 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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