Sri Lankan shares ended 1.8% higher on Monday, closing at a more than five-year high, driven by gains in consumer staples and industrial stocks.

* The CSE All Share Index ended up 1.78% at 6,894.98, its highest closing level since early Dec. 2015.

* Meanwhile, laying out its monetary and financial sector policy road map for the new year on Monday, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka said it intended to establish a permanent single digit interest rate structure in the economy. 

* "We will remain focused on maintaining market interest rates at single digit levels going forward. The business community will benefit from low-cost borrowing facilities corresponding to a low interest rate regime," the central bank said.

* The index gained 10.5% in 2020, its best performance since 2014.

* Trading volume on the index rose to 380.20 million on Monday from 187.07 million in the previous session.

* Cigarette maker Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC and Browns Investments Plc were the biggest boosts to the index, ending 5.5% and 11.6% higher, respectively.

* Foreign investors were net sellers in the equity market, offloading 321.7 million Sri Lankan rupees ($1.73 million) worth of shares, according to exchange data.

* The Sri Lankan rupee was last quoted at 186 against the U.S. dollar as of 11:48 GMT, according to Refinitiv data.

* Equity market turnover was about 5 billion rupees, exchange data showed.

($1 = 186.0000 Sri Lankan rupees)

(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri) ((; (+91 8061822737); Reuters Messaging: