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Sri Lankan share index falls 5.5 pct in 2015, ends at 1-month high

COLOMBO, Dec 31 (Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s main share index fell 5.5 percent this year, but ended firmer at a more than one-month high on Thursday in thin trading due to the holiday and investors awaiting the impact of a hike in commercial banks’ statutory reserve ratio (SRR).

Sri Lanka’s central bank on Wednesday raised the SRR by 150 basis points to 7.50 percent, to stabilise a rupee hovering near record lows and slow private sector credit growth.

The main stock index recouped early losses to end 0.35 percent firmer at 6,894.50, its highest close since Nov. 30.

The index fell 5.5 percent in 2015, Thomson Reuters data showed. In terms of U.S. dollar value, Sri Lanka’s market capitalisation fell 13.9 percent, still performing better than the other stock index in Asia like Malaysia, Thailand , Indonesia and Singapore.

Stockbrokers said many investors are on year-end leave and some are waiting to see the impact of the central bank’s first step in monetary tightening.

Foreign investors bought a net 49.1 million rupees ($340,617) worth of equities, but the market saw a net foreign outflow of 4.43 billion rupees in 2015, compared to a net foreign inflow of 22.07 billion rupees last year.

Turnover stood at 326.4 million rupees, less than a third of this year’s daily average of 1.06 billion rupees. Last year’s daily average was 1.42 billion rupees.

Diversified conglomerate Aitken Spence, which led the overall index gain, rose 5.1 percent, while development lender DFCC Bank gained 3.3 percent.






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