Sri Lankan stocks fall on political uncertainty after local polls
COLOMBO, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares fell for a
second straight session on Wednesday as political uncertainty
after a defeat of the two ruling coalition parties in a local
poll hurt investor sentiment.
The ruling coalition government of President Maithripala
Sirisena's centre-left Sri Lanka Freedom Party and Prime
Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's centre-right United National
Party suffered defeats in a local election over the weekend.
The results also raised concerns over the future of the
unity government amid pressure from the opposition parties to
dissolve the parliament.
The two ruling parties have set up a committee on Tuesday
to examine the future of the unity government.
The Colombo stock index ended 0.16 percent lower at
6,532.26, further slipping from its highest close since Nov. 8
hit on Friday.
The index gained 0.8 percent last week, its third straight
Shares in Bukit Dhara Plc fell 7.6 percent while
Hemas Holdings Plc fell 0.3 percent and Hatton National
Bank Plc ended 1.6 percent weaker. Biggest listed
lender, Commercial bank of Ceylon Plc, lost 1.8
"The market is negative with the continued political
uncertainty," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at First
"Delay in settlement is creating more uncertainty," he said,
referring to a decision that could end the political
Investors are waiting for some stability and to see the
direction in which both the coalition partners are headed.
Turnover stood at 654.7 million rupees ($4.22 million), well
below last year's daily average of 915.3 million rupees.
Foreign investors, however, bought a net 97.2 million rupees
worth of shares on Wednesday, extending the year-to-date net
foreign inflow to 5.4 billion rupees worth of equities.
Analysts also said the investors were waiting to see the
central bank's key policy rate announcement on Thursday, which
is widely expected to remain unchanged.
($1 = 155.3000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas
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