COLOMBO May 15 The Sri Lankan rupee ended
slightly weaker on Monday as importer dollar demand surpassed
early greenback sales by exporters, dealers said.
Rupee forwards were active, with the spot-next ending
at 152.60/70 per dollar, compared with Friday's close of
The spot rupee, which resumed trading on May 5
after four months, was not active on Monday, with the central
bank's reference rate at 152.10.
"There was some importer demand. We have seen some sizable
demand today, even some state banks bought dollars after the
weekend," said a currency dealer.
But dealers said the positive news about the Generalised
System of Preferences Plus helped the rupee.
The Sri Lankan government said in a statement on Thursday
that the Council of Ministers of the European Union had approved
the country's GSP Plus application and the official notification
on its entry will be finalised next week.
Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said on Sunday revenue
rose 17 percent in the first quarter compared with a year ago,
surpassing the government's expectations, due to higher tax
Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said on Tuesday
that the monetary authority did not want to allow the rupee to
fall "too quickly", but suggested further weakness in the
exchange rate is on the cards as policymakers sought a
The downward adjustment on the spot currency was to make the
rupee more competitive, he added.
The monetary authority on Tuesday kept the policy rates
steady as expected, saying inflation was expected to decelerate
to mid-single digit levels by end-2017.
Sri Lanka drew a blowout response in its return to the
international bond market, attracting orders of more than $11
billion from 500 accounts for a $1.5 billion 10-year bond.
Currency dealers expect higher dollar liquidity from the
inflows to help stabilise the rupee.
The country saw inflows of $1.5 billion last week from a
sovereign bond and also expects $1 billion from two separate
syndicated loans, and the central bank chief said a $450 million
syndicated loan is almost decided and the inflows are expected
The central bank has allowed the currency to gradually
depreciate since mid-December, revising its spot reference rate
The island nation has seen inflows into equities and
government securities since early April.
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sunil