REUTERS: Sri Lankan shares recovered yesterday from a three-month closing low in the previous session, helped by gains in banking shares and as foreign investors picked up beaten down stocks.
The benchmark index of the Colombo Stock Exchange closed 0.45 percent higher, or 28.87 points, at 6,429.04 yesterday, after falling 0.1 percent in the previous session and losing nearly 2 percent in October. On Tuesday, the index closed at its lowest since July 29 as investors shrugged off a Central Bank decision to keep rates unchanged. Foreign investors net bought Rs.393.2 million worth of equities yesterday.
They have net sold Rs.1.36 billion worth of shares so far this year. “Today, the market is up on foreign buying. It’s a sporadic purchase from a foreign buyer and there is very little local buying ahead of the budget,” said Richard Pieris Securities (Pvt.) Ltd Chief Operating Officer Reshan Kurukulasuriya. “Still, investors are waiting to see if there would be capital gains tax and the outcome of the budget.” Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said last week the government will introduce a lower tax regime in its upcoming budget to boost faltering investment.
Turnover stood at Rs.605.9 million, less than this year’s daily average of Rs.723.6 million. The CSE Banks Finance and Insurance Index gained more than 1 percent to end at 16,373.84. Shares in the biggest listed lender, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, rose 1.90 percent while Hatton National Bank PLC climbed 1.77 percent and conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC gained 0.54 percent.