Sri Lankan shares end at over 1-week low; financials drag

COLOMBO, Jan 5 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares fell for a second straight session and closed at their lowest level in more than one week on Tuesday as weakness in financial stocks continued.

The main stock index fell 0.33 percent, or 22.32 points, to close at 6,845.30, its lowest close since Dec. 28.

"The banking sector is down due to higher costs following the SRR (statutory reserve ratio) rate hike and the expected slower credit growth on top of the increased taxes from the budget," said Danushka Samarasinghe, research head at Softlogic Stockbrokers.

Foreign investors sold a net 296.5 million rupees ($2.1 million) worth of equities on Tuesday. They sold a net 4.43 billion rupees worth of equities in 2015, compared with a net foreign inflow of 22.07 billion rupees in the previous year.

The day’s turnover stood at 560.8 million rupees.

The central bank on Wednesday raised the SRR by 150 basis points to 7.50 percent, to curb the excess credit growth and to stabilise the rupee hovering near record lows and slow private sector credit growth.

Lender DFCC Bank Plc fell 3.45 percent and Hatton National Bank lost 1.2 percent.

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