COLOMBO May 15 The Sri Lankan rupee rose
slightly in dull trade on Monday on mild dollar selling by
exporters, dealers said.
Rupee forwards were active, with the spot-next at
152.50/60 per dollar at 0458 GMT, compared with Friday's close
of 152.55/65. Two-week forwards traded at 152.85/153.00 per
dollar, compared with Friday's close of 153.00/20.
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 are some exporter (dollar) sales but slight demand
(for dollar) remains," said a currency dealer.
Dealers said the positive news about the Generalised System
of Preferences Plus also helped the rupee to appreciate.
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.
Sri Lankan shares were steady at 6,672.57 as of 0525
GMT. Turnover stood at 70.2 million rupees ($460,328).
($1 = 152.5000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez)