COLOMBO May 18 The Sri Lankan rupee firmed on
Thursday on dollar selling by foreign banks, even as
depreciation pressure on the rupee eased, helped by strong
inflows from foreign borrowings, dealers said.
Rupee forwards were active, with spot-next forwards
trading at 152.80/90 per dollar at 0553 GMT, compared with
Wednesday's close of 152.85/90.
One-week forwards were at 152.90/153.00 per dollar, compared
with Wednesday's close of 152.95/153.00.
"We have seen two foreign banks on the (dollar) selling
side, probably for T-bond buying," a currency dealer said,
asking not to be named.
The spot rupee did not trade on Thursday. The
central bank fixed the spot rupee reference rate at 152.50 on
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 was 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
Sri Lanka regained a lucrative European Union trade
concession with effect from Friday, but analysts said they were
waiting to see the real impact of the facility.
Sri Lanka received $1.5 billion last week from a 10-year
sovereign bond, while another $450 million from a syndicated
loan is expected soon.
Sri Lankan shares were down 0.3 percent at 6,699.99
as of 0659 GMT. Turnover stood at 458.2 million rupees ($3.01
($1 = 152.4000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Shihar Aneez and Ranga Sirilal; Editing by