February 8, 2018 / 11:54 AM / 3 months ago

Sri Lankan stocks rise to 3-mth high on foreign buying

COLOMBO, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares rose to their highest close in three months on Thursday as foreign investors picked up blue chip stocks such as conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.55 percent firmer at 6,542.90, its highest close since Nov. 10, 2017.

Shares in Carson Cumberbatch Plc rose 6.9 percent, while conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc ended 0.5 percent higher.

Ceylon Beverage Holdings Plc jumped 14.1 percent and Nestle Lanka Plc firmed 2 percent.

“Foreign interest in blue chips like John Keells pushed the market up,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at First Capital Holdings.

Sri Lanka will hold a long-delayed local government election on Feb. 10 amid worries about the future of the country’s coalition government.

The market turnover was 1.3 billion rupees ($8.43 million), more than last year’s daily average of 915.3 million rupees.

Foreign investors bought a net 392.8 million rupees worth of shares on Thursday, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 4.9 billion rupees worth of equities.

$1 = 154.3000 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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