Sri Lanka stocks plunge over 2.0-pct after one-hour of trading

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka stocks plunged more than 2.0 percent after one hour of trading, a day after a so-called Robin Hood budget giving high salaries to state workers by the Sirisena administration slammed multiple taxes on listed firms.

Stocks fell more than 1.5 percent within minutes of opening.

John Keells Holdings and Commercial Bank were among the stocks hit hard by the sell-off. JKH fell 2.5 percent to 219.40 rupees. Commercial Bank fell six percn to 169 rupees.

The government announced in its interim budget it will not approve JKH’s casino project as well as two other new casinos proposed by local and foreign investors.

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, presenting the government’s interim budget in parliament Thursday, also imposed a 25 percent tax on companies making more than two billion rupees net profit.

Analysts said investors feared the new taxes announced in the budget would hit the earnings of listed companies in the forthcoming quarters.


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