* Foreigners sell Keells; net outflow at 24.1 mln rupees
Jan 12 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's share market rose on Thursday in high volume and turnover as investors snapped up banking and telecom shares, expecting a relaxation of credit restrictions and the appointment of a new director general to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The SEC in an emailed statement said it would make a final decision on Monday on broker requests to allow them to loan more money to clients for share purchases.
The main share index gained 1.32 percent, or 77.41 points to 5,942.47, its highest since Jan. 4.
Shares in Environmental Resources Investment PLC rose 18.21 percent, which brokers attributed to an expectation that the shares would rise after the credit decision.
John Keells Holdings PLC, which saw a foreign selling of 239,892 shares on Thursday, fell 1.38 percent to 163.90 rupees.
The day's turnover was 1.1 billion Sri Lanka rupees ($9.66 million), highest since Dec. 23, but far below last year's average of 2.3 billion rupees. Volume was 85.2 million shares, highest since Dec. 1. Last year's daily average was a record 102.7 million.
The Colombo bourse is the second-worst performer among Asian countries in the new year after Pakistan's market, with a 2.17 percent loss so far.
Foreign investors were net sellers of 24.1 million rupees worth of shares, extending the year-to-date foreign outflow to 287.1 million after 19.1 billion in 2011.
The index lost 8.5 percent in 2011 and was Asia's 10th-best performer after being top in the region until June. It was Asia's best in 2009 and 2010.
The rupee closed flat at 113.89/90 to the dollar for a 36th straight session since a 3 percent devaluation effective Nov. 21, with the central bank selling around $25 million to defend it, dealers said.
The bank has spent more than $875 million on keeping the exchange rate steady since Nov. 21. It spent a net $1.79 billion in the first 10 months of last year to keep depreciation pressure at bay.
On Thursday, central bank said it expects dollar inflows in the next two months to soften depreciation pressure on the currency, which it will still defend despite International Monetary Fund pressure to stop managing the currency. ($1 = 113.9300 Sri Lanka rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Bryson Hull)
Last edited by dindon1 on Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:26 pm; edited 1 time in total