Sri Lankan shares near 2-week closing high; budget awaited
COLOMBO: Sri Lankan shares hit a near two-week closing high on Wednesday, a day ahead of the new government's supplementary budget, on hopes of strong corporate earnings after the government implements its promised concessions and tax reductions on key commodities through the budget.
President Maithripala Sirisena's administration will announce its first budget on Thursday and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake told Reuters on Monday that the government aims to fulfil its election pledges, including tax cuts and salary hikes.
The main stock index ended up 0.38 percent, or 27.64 points, at 7,395.29, its highest close since Jan. 16. It hit a onemonth closing low on Friday.
"The market was driven by speculation on the budget, specially on the expectation of gas price reduction which has a direct impact on the manufacturing sector," said Dimantha Mathew, research manager at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.
"The budget is expected give a boost to disposable income as they are looking at reduction of taxes on essential goods and increase in salaries. All in all, this will boost disposable income."-Agencies