Sri Lankan shares end flat as investors await cbank rate review
COLOMBO, March 21 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares were little changed on Tuesday in lacklustre trade, hovering near a one-year closing low hit last week, as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the central bank’s policy review.
The Colombo stock index ended flat at 6,041.59, near its lowest close since the March 16, 2016, hit on Thursday.
Turnover stood at 283.3 million rupees ($1.9 million), less than half of this year’s daily average of 665 million rupees.
The index has lost 1.2 percent since March 7, when the International Monetary Fund called for monetary policy tightening if credit growth or inflation did not abate.
The Central Bank’s second monetary policy review of the year is due on Friday.
"The market is closely watching for the monetary policy rate announcement and sovereign bonds," said Jaliya Wijeratne, who heads First Capital Equities. "Local investors are just waiting for some direction, but foreign investors are buying counters."
Foreign investors net bought shares worth 160.8 million rupees, raising the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 2.66 billion rupees in equities.
Shares in Commercial Leasing and Finance Plc rose 8 percent, while Lanka ORIX Leasing Company Plc gained 2.3 percent and Dialog Axiata Plc rose 0.9 percent.