REUTERS: Sri Lankan stocks posted marginal gains yesterday and ended near an 18-month high hit last week as telecom shares rose, while foreign investors continued to buy the island nation’s risky assets. Concerns over a proposed tax bill however weighed on overall investor sentiment, analysts said.
The Colombo stock index ended 0.02 percent up at 6,734.13, near its highest close since Jan. 7, 2016. The bourse climbed 0.47 percent last week and ended June with a 1.09 percent gain.
Foreign investors net bought Rs.67.6 million (US$440,104.17) worth of shares yesterday, extending their year-to-date net inflows to Rs.22.4 billion worth of equities.
“Foreign interest is continuing in select blue chips,” said Hussain Gani, deputy CEO at Softlogic Stockbrokers. Brokers said local investors have been waiting for some clarity on the proposed Inland Revenue legislation, which some companies expect will result in higher cost of production. The IMF, which has long urged Sri Lanka to boost tax revenue through modernisation and simplification of its fiscal system, has urged the government to submit to parliament a new Inland Revenue Act.
Turnover was Rs.509.2 million, well below this year’s daily average of Rs. 922.9 million.
Shares of Carson Cumberbatch Plc rose 7.1 percent while Ceylon Cold Stores Plc ended 2.2 percent firmer and Dialog Axiata Plc rose 1.7 percent.