September 18, 2017 / 11:35 AM / a year ago

Sri Lankan rupee ends marginally lower on dlr demand from banks

COLOMBO, Sept 18 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee ended weaker on Monday as dollar demand from banks and importers surpassed selling of the greenback by exporters, dealers said.

The spot rupee ended at 153.05/10 per dollar, compared with Friday’s close of 152.80/90.

“The demand (for dollar) was there today and a foreign bank was buying dollars, probably to service takeovers,” said a currency dealer requesting anonymity.

Dealers said the rupee was under pressure due to high dollar demand for some equity-related transactions.

Last week, diversified conglomerate Hayleys Plc said it purchased 61.73 percent of Singer Sri Lanka Plc for 10.9 billion rupees ($71.27 million) from Retail Holdings (Sri Lanka) BV a subsidiary of Retail Holdings .

The rupee has been under pressure since January after the central bank stopped defending the currency and started buying dollars to build up the country’s depleted foreign currency reserves.

The island nation saw 17 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($111.15 million) of net inflows into equities up to Friday’s close, and 9.4 billion rupees worth inflows into government securities as of Sept. 13, official data showed. ($1 = 152.9500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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