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    Sri Lankan shares rose 5 sessions of falls on bargain hunting

    November 17, 2017

    Sri Lankan shares rose on Thursday after five straight sessions of declines, on bargain hunting in beaten-down stocks and foreign buying.

    The Colombo stock index ended 0.31 percent firmer at 6,448.98, recovering from its lowest close since Sept. 27 hit in the previous session.

    It shed 2.6 percent in the five sessions through Wednesday on worries over new taxes on cash-rich telecom and banking sector.

    Big caps helped the market recover, said Hussain Gani, deputy CEO at Softlogic Stockbrokers, adding that he expected it to settle “at these levels as all the main earnings results are out and foreign interest is also back.”

    Foreign investors net bought shares worth 287.4 million rupees ($1.87 million), extending the net foreign inflow into equities to 19.7 billion rupees so far this year.

    Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera imposed new taxes on motor vehicles, telecoms, banks and liquor in a bid to boost revenues in its 2018 budget outlined last week, as the budget deficit for the current year slipped to 5.2 percent of the gross domestic product.

    Samaraweera imposed taxes on telecom towers and text messages, and introduced a debt repayment levy of 20 cents per 1,000 rupee bank transaction with effect from April 1 next year.

    Turnover was 1.02 billion rupees on Thursday, more than this year’s average of around 954.7 million rupees.

    Shares in market heavyweight John Keells Holdings ended 0.5 percent firmer, while Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc rose 3.1 percent. (Reuters)

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