COLOMBO, April 24 The Sri Lankan rupee closed
flat on Monday as late dollar sales by foreign banks offset
importer dollar demand, while the market awaited positive news
on an International Monetary Fund loan and a sovereign bond
sale, dealers said.
The rupee forwards were active, with two-week
forwards closing at 153.10/20 per dollar, hardly changed from
Friday's close of 153.10/25.
It fell to 153.40/45 in early trade.
"We expect the rupee to be in this range during this week,
and to appreciate once the IMF announces its third tranche and
the inflows from the government's sovereign bond issue," said
one currency dealer.
The IMF is yet to approve the third tranche of a
$1.5-billion loan, and the market expects the approval to help
boost sentiment. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake met IMF
officials in Washington last week.
Government officials have said authorities would go for for
an up to $1.5 billion sovereign bond sale "soon".
Sri Lanka has seen a surge in foreign inflows into equities
and government securities since early this month.
Foreign investors bought equities worth a net 11.9 billion
rupees in the 22 consecutive sessions through Monday.
They also net bought government securities worth 4.17
billion rupees in the week ended April 19. However, they have
been net sellers to the tune of 58 billion worth of government
bonds so far this year.
(Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Louise Ireland)