November 1, 2017 / 11:27 AM / a year ago

Sri Lankan shares edge up on foreign buying

COLOMBO, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares edged up on Wednesday on foreign buying in market heavyweight John Keells Holdings while investors awaited for direction from September-quarter earnings and the national budget scheduled to be presented next week.

Foreign investors bought shares net worth 275.5 million rupees ($1.79 million), extending the year-to-date net inflows to 20.52 billion rupees in equities.

The Colombo stock index closed 0.1 percent higher at 6,624.2, its highest close since Oct. 26.

Shares in Capital Trust rose 3.1 percent while John Keells gained 0.6 percent.

“Foreign investors were interested in shares like John Keells and Lion Brewery. Retail investors were interested in plantation shares,” said Hussain Gani, deputy CEO at Softlogic Stockbrokers.

“We believe the budget will be a business-friendly one, which will encourage more investments.”

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera will present the 2018 budget on Nov. 9.

The session’s turnover was 999.7 million rupees, higher than this year’s average daily turnover of 942.6 million rupees.

$1 = 153.6500 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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