Nov 18 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares closed lower for a fifth straight session on Friday, hurt by losses in industrial and financial stocks.
At the close of trade, the CSE All-Share index fell 2.7% to 7,817.89
On Thursday, the country’s state minister of finance, Shehan Semasinghe, said the island-nation had postponed a round of debt restructuring talks initially expected to be held during the day.
This, he added, was to allow central bank and treasury officials to provide clarifications sought by the country’s creditors.
Sri Lanka formally kicked off the talks in September after securing a preliminary $2.9 billion bailout with the International Monetary Fund, a step on a path out of the country’s worst financial crisis in a decade.
But it needs to secure financing assurances from key creditors including China, Japan and India before the funds can be disbursed.
Further, central bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe said in a statement to the parliament on Thursday that inflation would likely be below 4%-5% by the end of next year if the current fiscal policies are maintained.
Conglomerates Expolanka Holdings PLC and LOLC Development Finance PLC were the top drags, falling 6.95% and 8.45%, respectively.
Trading volume fell to 49.4 million shares from about 50.1 million in the previous session.
The equity market’s turnover was 1.44 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($3.97 million), compared with 976.7 million rupees in the previous session, according to exchange data.
Foreign investors were net buyers in the equity market, purchasing stocks worth 97 million rupees, while domestic investors were net sellers, offloading shares worth 1.44 billion rupees, data showed.