Stock market at 7-month high despite outflows

Saturday, 25 January 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Shares hit seven-month highs on Friday as investors bought large cap stocks such as Ceylon Tobacco Co Plc, despite selling by foreign investors to reduce exposure to risky assets. The main stock index rose 0.47%, or 29.49 points, to 6,255.63, its highest close since 12 June. Foreign investors were net sellers for the first time in four sessions. They sold a net Rs. 384.82 million worth of shares. But they have been net buyers of Rs. 826.6 million so far this year. They had bought Rs. 22.88 billion of stocks last year. Offshore investors were net buyers for the last three sessions through Thursday on positive sentiment after the Colombo Stock Exchange and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka hosted an investor roadshow in Singapore earlier this week to attract more foreign funds. Shares in large cap Ceylon Tobacco rose 1.73% to Rs. 1251.30, while Dialog Axiata Plc gained 2.15% to Rs. 9.50. The index has gained 5.2% in the last 12 sessions including this week’s 2% gain, which analysts attributed to the Central Bank’s interest rate cut on 2 January and the recent fall in t-bill yields. The index has been in an overbought region since 7 January, Thomson Reuters data showed. It has risen 5.8% so far this year following a 4.8% gain in 2013, after having fallen in the previous two years. The day’s turnover was Rs. 1.5 billion ($11.47 million), more than last year’s daily average of about Rs. 828.4 million.