Sri Lankan shares end up 0.7-pct

EconomyNext – Sri Lankan shares rose strongly Tuesday to end up 0.7 percent as the central bank kept benchmark interest rates unchanged and ahead of an interim government budget that investors expect to give direction on the economy.

The All Share Price Index ended at 7,367.65, up 51.57 points while the S&P SL20 index, which tracks the top 20 largest and most liquid stocks, rose even more strongly, gaining 33.69 points or 0.82 percent to reach 4,130.43.

Turnover recovered from a three-month low of 338 million rupees to reach 1.1 billion rupees.

The benchmark index was lifted by gains in John Keells Holdings, Nestle Lanka, The Bukit Darah and Commercial Bank.

JKH rose almost three percent or 6.80 to reach 235 rupees, adding 344 million to turnover, Nestle Lanka gained almost two percent (44.80 rupees) to close at 2,307.20, Commercial Bank ended at 181 rupees, up 1.00 (0.56 percent) and Hemas Holdings at 80.30 rupees, up 1.50 (1.90 percent).

The Central Bank in its monthly monetary policy announcement kept its Standing Deposit Facility Rate and Standing Lending Facility Rate unchanged at 6.50 percent and 8.00 percent.

The new government will also present an interim budget on Thursday, January 29, ahead of parliamentary polls after April.


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