September 15, 2017 / 1:08 PM / 10 months ago

Sri Lankan shrs end near 3-wk closing high; turnover highest in over 6 yrs

COLOMBO, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares rose for a second straight session on Friday and ended at a near three-week closing high, while a block deal in Singer Sri Lanka Plc pushed turnover to over a six-year high.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.32 percent firmer at 6,402.03, its highest close since Aug.28.

The bourse rose 0.4 percent during the week, ending an eight-week long losing streak.

On Wednesday after market hours, diversified conglomerate Hayleys Plc said it had agreed to purchase 61.73 percent of Singer Sri Lanka Plc for 10.9 billion rupees from Retail Holdings (Sri Lanka) BV a subsidiary of Retail Holdings NV.

Hayleys in a corporate disclosure said on Friday that Hayleys Plc and its subsidiaries purchased 231.9 million shares or 61.73 percent of Singer Sri Lanka Plc at a price of 47 rupees per share.

Singer Sri Lanka saw foreign investor selling of 231.9 million shares and ended 0.4 percent lower. It accounted for 95.2 percent of the day's turnover of 11.4 billion rupees, the highest since March 16, 2011 and well above this year's daily average of around 921 million rupees.

Foreign investors net sold 10.8 billion rupees worth of shares on Friday, but they have been net buyers of 16.9 billion rupees worth of equities so far this year.

"We could see buying interest coming into the market after the Hayleys deal," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Holdings.

"It reactivated local investor confidence and the market is getting stronger day by day."

Shares of Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc rose 1.6 percent while conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc gained 0.7 percent and Lanka ORIX Leasing Company Plc closed 1.6 percent higher.

Hayleys Plc ended 0.04 percent lower. ($1 = 152.9500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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