Sri Lankan shares near 2-week clos­ing high; bud­get awaited

The Financial Daily - - NATIONAL -

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

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