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Sri Lanka shares up on stability hopes

COLOMBO, Aug 21 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares ended firmer on Friday on hopes of political stability after Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the new prime minister, and formed an alliance with President Maithripala Sirisena’s party to push ahead reforms.

The main stock index ended 0.29 percent or 21.35 points firmer, at 7,471.17.

"We have seen some buying interest coming in," said Dimantha Mathew, a research manager at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

"We expect the market to move after the formation of the new government."

The formation of the broad coalition will put Sirisena into a position to advance reforms begun when he quit Rajapaksa’s government and in January defeated the nationalist strongman’s bid to win an unprecedented third term as president.

The day’s turnover stood at 959.4 million rupees ($7.2 million), less than this year’s daily average of 1.14 billion rupees.

Foreign investors were net sellers of a net 10.3 million rupees worth of equities on Friday extending the year to date net foreign outflow to 1.17 billion rupees.

Shares in Ceylon Theatres Plc rose 8.99 percent and Hemas Holdings Plc rose 1.78 percent, leading the index higher.

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