Monday, February 18, 2013

Sri Lanka stocks at 1-month low on Dialog after earnings

Feb 18 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan stocks fell to a one-month low on Monday, dragged by top mobile phone operator, Dialog Axiata, after it reported a 30 percent fall in its December quarter profit.

The main share index fell 0.95 percent, or 55.67 points, to end at 5,774.59, its lowest since January 15 as concerns over the broader economy also weighed.

The International Monetary Fund warned last week of slower growth, high inflation and lower tax revenue risks, prompting speculation the government may turn to expensive commercial borrowing to bridge the budget gap, which would drive interest rate higher.

Shares of Dialog Axiata fell 4.21 percent to 9.10 rupees.

The day's turnover was 869.84 million rupees ($6.87 million), lower than this year's daily average of 1.11 billion rupees.

Foreign investors were net buyers of 43.6 million rupees worth of shares on Monday, but they have been net sellers of 915.7 million rupees so far this year.

The rupee ended weaker at 126.90/95 to the dollar from Friday's close of 126.65/80 due to importer dollar demand, dealers said. ($1 = 126.7000 Sri Lanka rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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