COLOMBO, March 27 The Sri Lankan rupee closed
largely unchanged on Monday as importer dollar demand almost
offset the inward remittances after the country's central bank
raised benchmark interest rates by 25 basis points.
The central bank raised the spot rupee reference
rate by 10 cents to 151.70 on Monday after the bank raised the
it by 25 cents on March 20.
On Friday, the central bank raised interest rates for the
first time in eight months, saying tighter policy was a
precaution against a build-up of inflationary pressures.
Analysts said the rate hike, a move aimed at easing pressure
on the rupee, could help stabilise the domestic currency that is
hurt by rising imports and outflows due to rupee bond sales by
Rupee forwards were active, with two-week forwards
ending at 152.65/75 per dollar, compared with Friday's close of
"The demand (for dollars) was there and in fact the central
bank also raised the reference rate today," said a currency
dealer, asking not to be named.
Foreign investors net bought government securities worth 70
million rupees ($461,285) in the week ended March 22. They have
net sold 63.2 billion rupees of such instruments so far this
($1 = 151.7500 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas