(Corrects closing figures for one-month and two-week forwards)
COLOMBO Feb 20 The Sri Lankan rupee ended
weaker on Monday on dollar demand from importers and foreign
banks as foreign investors sold government securities amid
concerns of further depreciation in the rupee, dealers said.
Rupee forwards were active, with one-month forwards
ending at 152.95/153.15 per dollar, weaker from Friday's close
However, two-week forwards ended marginally stronger at
151.70/75 per dollar due to exporter dollar sales later in the
day. It ended at 151.80/152.00 per dollar on Friday.
"There is depreciation pressure (on the rupee) as there is
steady importer (dollar) demand and some bond outflows, but we
can't see central bank intervention these days unlike last
month," said a currency dealer, requesting not to be named.
Central bank officials were not available for comment.
Sri Lanka could face balance-of-payments pressure due to
foreign outflows from government securities, a government
document showed on Thursday, even as the island-nation is in the
process of raising up to $2.5 billion from foreign borrowing.
Foreign investors have net sold 49.1 billion rupees ($325.70
million) worth of government securities in the seven weeks to
Feb. 15, according to the latest central bank data.
Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said on Feb. 14 that
protecting a fragile rupee was more important than controlling
interest rates as the local currency tended not to rebound after
Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said early this
month that the bank was not planning to abruptly stop supporting
The rupee has weakened 0.8 percent so far this year, under
pressure from rising imports and net selling of government
securities by foreign investors. It fell 3.9 percent last year,
following a 10 percent drop in 2015.
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by