Sri Lankan shares end at one-month closing high
COLOMBO, July 22 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares rose for a second straight session on Friday and posted its highest close in a month, helped by gains in large-cap beverage shares, while investors awaited directions on the macro economy.
The benchmark Colombo stock index ended up 0.18 percent, or 11.31 points, at 6,428.77, its highest close since June 21. The bourse rose 0.09 percent during the week recording a third weekly gain.
"Investors seems to be picking their stocks. Bargain hunting has been happening," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.
"Slowly, the interest is growing in the market, but with a note of caution, until the policy statement is out."
Analysts said investors are waiting for a direction on the country’s economic policies, which is expected to be announced by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe next month.
The investor sentiment also got a boost after Sri Lanka raised $1.5 billion in its first sale of dual-tranche eurobonds last week.
The more-than $5.5 billion in offers for the issue showed that global investors were bullish about the prospects of the $82-billion economy.
Yields on local T-bills fell at an auction on Wednesday for the second time since April 15, following the strong response to the bond deal.
Turnover stood at 619.98 million rupees ($4.26 million), less than this year’s daily average of around 734.9 million rupees.
Overseas investors, were net sellers of 1.15 million rupees worth of shares on Friday, first net selling in five sessions, extending the year-to-date net selling to 4.86 billion rupees worth of equities.
Among the index heavyweights, shares in food and beverage maker Nestle Lanka Plc climbed 3.70 percent, Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka Plc rose 1.64 percent, while Central Finance Company Plc ended up 3.80 percent.