COLOMBO Dec 29 The Sri Lankan rupee closed
steady on Thursday as light importer dollar demand was met by
exporter selling and moral suasion by the central bank boosted
sentiment, dealers said.
They said the local currency might weaken in January after
the central bank's comment on Friday that the rupee's
depreciation was not necessarily negative for the economy.
Rupee forwards were active with one-week forwards
closing steady at 150.15/25 per dollar.
Spot-next forwards and the spot rupee were hardly
traded, dealers said.
"We expect some kind of depreciation in the new year after
the central bank's statement last week," a currency dealer said
on condition of anonymity.
He said the central bank did not want to trade one-week
forwards below 150.15 amid unusual year-end importer demand.
Officials from the central bank were not immediately
available for comment.
A government move to borrow $1 billion to finance some
infrastructure projects is cause for some optimism, dealers
"If that money comes, we may see some easing of the downward
pressure (on the rupee)," the currency dealer said.
Sri Lanka intends to raise up to $1 billion via foreign
currency term financing facility to finance the import elements
of development projects specified in the 2017 budget, the
government said on Wednesday.
The central bank on Wednesday raised the spot reference rate
by 30 cents to 149.80. It had raised the reference rate by 40
cents each in the previous two weeks.
(Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)