Sri Lankan stocks fall on political uncertainty after local polls

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 weekly rise.

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 percent.

"The market is negative with the continued political uncertainty," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at First Capital Holdings.

"Delay in settlement is creating more uncertainty," he said, referring to a decision that could end the political instability.

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 Mohan)

2018-02-14 14:45:33

© 2018 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Reuters content is the intellectual property of Thomson Reuters or its third party content providers. Any copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. "Reuters" and the Reuters Logo are trademarks of Thomson Reuters and its affiliated companies.
Most read today
Most read yesterday
Send e-mail to for any enquiries or see Contact Details for phone numbers
Home   •   Terms & conditions   •   PAIA   •   Privacy Policy   •   Security Notice   •   Contact Details
Market Statistics are calculated by Sharenet and are therefore not the official JSE Market Statistics. The calculation/derivation may include underlying JSE data.
© 2018 SHARENET (PTY) Ltd, Cape Town, South Africa