COLOMBO May 16 The Sri Lankan rupee weakened
slightly on Tuesday as mild importer dollar demand surpassed
selling of the U.S. currency by exporters, dealers said.
Rupee forwards were active, with the spot-next or
three-day forwards trading at 152.65/75 per dollar at 0635 GMT,
compared with Monday's close of 152.60/70.
The spot rupee did not trade on Tuesday.
The central bank fixed the spot rupee reference rate at
152.10 on May 5.
Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said last week
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 to the spot currency was to make the
rupee more competitive, he added.
The central bank has allowed the currency to gradually
depreciate since mid-December, revising its spot reference rate
"We have seen some exporter (dollar) conversions and there
is some importer (dollar) demand. But the dollar demand is on
the low side," said a currency dealer.
Positive news about trade concessions helped cap losses in
rupee forwards, dealers said.
The European Union said on Tuesday the country's GSP Plus
trade concessions could be started towards end of this week
after the Council of Ministers of the European Union approved
the concession last 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
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.
Sri Lankan shares were up 0.21 percent at 6,673.92 as
of 0644 GMT. Turnover stood at 306.4 million rupees ($2.01
($1 = 152.5000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju