September 26, 2016 / 12:32 PM / in a year

Sri Lankan shares end flat amid foreign outflows

COLOMBO, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan stocks ended steady on Monday, as gains in financial shares were offset by losses in consumer staples, amid foreign outflows and tax hike concerns.

Foreign investors sold a net 183 million rupees worth of shares on Monday extending the year-to-date net forging outflow to 3.01 billion rupees worth of equities.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday said Sri Lanka’s government, which has failed to raise taxes as promised when it received a $1.5 billion loan from the lender in June, needs to implement a tax reform package without further delay.

The reform package will include raising taxes to increase the government revenue and reduce fiscal deficit.

The benchmark index of the Colombo Stock Exchange ended flat, dropping 0.2 points to 6,4789.94.

After four straight weekly losses, the index posted a weekly gain of 0.10 percent last week.

“Nothing much happened today. But the good thing was that the buying interest was there,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd, adding that the liquidity shortage in the market was “temporary”.

Turnover stood at 614.1 million rupees, less than this year’s daily average of 752.2 million rupees.

Consumer stocks such as Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc slid 1 percent, while Ceylon Cold Stores Plc fell 2.33 percent, bringing down the overall index. Overseas Realty Plc dived 8.30 percent.

Meanwhile, shares in Commercial Leasing and Finance Plc jumped 8.11 percent while Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc rose 0.71 percent.

$1 = 146.0000 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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