Sri Lankan shares end higher ahead of polls

COLOMBO, Aug 14 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares ended firmer on Friday on hopes that political stability after the Aug. 17 parliamentary elections would help boost investor sentiment, brokers said.

The main stock index ended up 0.26 percent at 7,462.34, hovering near its highest close since Jan. 16 hit on Wednesday.

The day’s turnover stood at 1.25 billion rupees ($9.34 million) on Friday, slightly higher than this year’s daily average of 1.13 billion rupees.

Foreign investors were net buyers for the first time in 11 sessions. They bought a net 113.3 million rupees worth of equities on Friday. But they have offloaded a net 1.09 billion rupees worth of shares so far this year.

"We were expecting market to be slow today as well, but it didn’t happen. Everybody is in a positive mood on expectation of a stable government after the election," said Dimantha Mathew, a research manager at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

Shares in Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc rose 1.63 percent, while Lanka IOC Plc jumped 9.28 percent, pushing the index higher.

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