July 31 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's stock market gained on Tuesday on hopes a stockbroker meeting with the island nation's treasury secretary, P.B. Jayasundera, could bring some policy changes to boost the bourse.
The Treasury head meeting follows a July 20 a meeting by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also the country's finance minister, with stockbrokers and top officials of Colombo Stock Exchange and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Stockbrokers said they expected to discuss some important policy changes at the meeting, which began at 1200 GMT, that could help boost a bourse that has fallen 18.6 percent this year.
On July 20, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also the country's finance minister, met stockbrokers and top officials of the Colombo Stock Exchange and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to discuss the market.
On Tuesday, the Colombo Stock Exchange's main index edged up 0.19 percent, or 9.35 points, to 4,944.86.
The day's turnover jumped due to Singapore's Parkson Retail Asia buying a 41.8 percent stake, or 1.4 billion rupees ($10.80 million) worth of shares, in Sri Lankan retailer Odel PLC.
Odel fell 0.4 percent to 22.50 rupees as the company has announced a one-for-one rights issue.
The deal accounted for 73 percent of the day's turnover of 1.94 billion rupees ($14.71 million), which was well above the year's daily average of 898.3 million rupees.
The Odel deal helped boost the day's net foreign inflow to 1.53 billion rupees, extending the net foreign inflow this year to 25.6 billion rupees.
The rupee closed flat at 131.70/132.10 against the dollar, as importer dollar demand offset dollar sales by banks.
Dealers expect the rupee to weaken further on expected importer dollar demand.