September 19, 2017 / 11:34 AM / a year ago

Sri Lankan shares mark 4-wk closing high on foreign buying

COLOMBO, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares gained for a fourth straight session on Tuesday to mark a four-week closing high on foreign buying in blue-chips.

Foreign investors bought a net 129.9 million rupees ($848,188) worth of shares on Tuesday, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 17.1 billion rupees.

The Colombo stock index ended up 0.29 percent at 6,428.07, its highest close since Aug. 18.

"Foreign investors were active today, helping to push the turnover above one billion. Foreign interest were buying blue-chips and that helped boost local investor confidence," said Hussain Gani, deputy CEO of Softlogic Stockbrokers.

Shares of Ceylon Cold Stores Plc rose 1.5 percent, while Trans Asia Hotel Plc ended 6.7 percent firmer and conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc gained 0.2 percent.

Turnover stood at 1.6 billion rupees, well above this year's daily average of around 922.4 million rupees.

Recent block deals also helped boost sentiment, traders said.

Last 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.

Last week, top mobile phone operator Dialog Axiata Plc said it acquired 80.34 percent of Colombo Trust Finance Plc for 1.072 billion rupees ($7 million). ($1 = 153.1500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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