Bourse up for fourth session; policy awaited

Saturday, 24 October 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Shares rose for a fourth straight session and closed at their highest in nearly two weeks on Friday, but investors were cautious ahead of a key policy statement by the Government.

The main stock index ended 0.18%, or 12.64 points, firmer at 7,081.49, its highest close since 12 October.

Turnover was Rs. 1.08 billion ($ 7.66 million), in line with this year’s daily average of Rs. 1.1 billion.

“Most of the investors were on a wait-and-see mood,” said Dimantha Mathew, a research manager at First Capital Equities Ltd., adding that the market advanced on “some speculative buying” on illiquid shares.

“Investors are waiting for the policy statement and the budget.”

Foreign investors, who have been net sellers of Rs. 2.92 billion worth of equities so far this year, bought a net Rs. 4.25 million worth shares on Friday.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is expected announce the economic policy in the first week of November, outlining the government’s economic priorities ahead of the 2016 budget scheduled on 20 November, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has said.

Analysts said a government move to implement a budget proposal of a retrospective tax targeting corporate has dented sentiment.

Shares of John Keells Holdings rose 0.29%, while Asian Hotels and Properties Plc increased 4.67%.