COLOMBO May 30 Sri Lankan rupee fell on Tuesday
as floods and landslides that killed over 190 people weighed on
market sentiment, with investors awaiting further information on
the impact of the disaster, analysts said.
The extent of the damage due to the floods is yet to be
assessed, with Sri Lanka's main agricultural exports - tea and
rubber - hit by the worst torrential rains in 14 years.
Authorities warned of more rains and landslides on Tuesday
as cyclone "Mora" formed in the Bay of Bengal.
The floods would have an adverse impact on agricultural
exports, putting pressure on the rupee, currency dealers said,
while analysts said there could be an immediate negative impact
on the hospitality and manufacturing sectors.
Rupee forwards were active on Tuesday, with spot-next
forwards ending at 152.95/153.00 per dollar, compared with
Monday's close of 152.80/95.
"The demand (for dollars) was there and (dollar) conversions
were very less," said a currency dealer.
The floods could also put pressure on the overall GDP and
government budget deficit with high infrastructure spending,
The rupee has been under pressure after the central bank
governor on May 18 said the bank would allow gradual
depreciation of the currency, they said.
The spot rupee did not trade on Tuesday.
The central bank fixed the spot rupee reference rate at
152.50 on May 5.
Foreign investors bought a net 14.6 billion rupees ($95.61
million) worth of government securities in the two weeks ended
May 24. They have sold a net 42.1 billion rupees worth of
securities so far this year.
($1 = 152.5000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sunil