February 9, 2018 / 12:28 PM / 2 months ago

Sri Lankan stocks hit over 3-month closing high on retail buying

COLOMBO, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares rose for a second straight session on Friday and hit their highest close in more than three months, helped by retail buying in blue-chip stocks.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.45 percent firmer at 6,572.29, its highest close since Nov. 8, 2017. The bourse rose 0.8 percent during the week recording its third straight weekly gain.

“Retail buying helped boost the market,” said Prashan Fernando CEO at Acuity Stockbrokers.

Foreign buying in Softlogic Holdings by a middle eastern fund and speculation over Swarnamahal Finance Services Plc, which is facing financial difficulties, getting a business partner to continue the business, helped retail interest, he added.

Softlogic Holdings Plc rose 6.5 percent, Janashakthi Insurance Company Plc ended 0.98 percent weaker, and Swarnamahal Financial Service Plc ended steady.

Shares in large-caps Bukit Dhara Plc jumped 22.7 percent and Carson Cumberbatch Plc ended 6.5 percent higher.

Sri Lanka will hold a long-delayed local government election on Saturday amid worries about the future of the country’s coalition government.

The market turnover stood at 451.7 million Sri Lankan rupees ($2.93 million), well below last year’s daily average of 915.3 million rupees.

Foreign investors bought a net 90.7 million rupees worth of shares on Friday, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 5.0 billion rupees worth of equities. ($1 = 154.2000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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