January 24, 2018 / 11:57 AM / a month ago

Sri Lankan rupee recovers from record low on bank, exporter dollar sales

COLOMBO, Jan 24 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee ended firmer on Wednesday, recovering from a record low hit in the previous session, as banks and exporters sold dollars, dealers said.

The spot rupee ended at 153.75/85 per dollar, compared with Tuesday’s close of 154.05/15.

On Tuesday, the rupee hit a record intraday low of 154.20/25 per dollar.

“Today, the pressure was not there as there was not much demand. There was some (dollar) selling due to salary week, and also some foreign banks sold dollars,” said a currency dealer.

The rupee might see volatility due to heavy debt repayment by the government this year, said dealers.

Sri Lanka raised $470.6 million last week via development bonds, the central bank said.

President Maithripala Sirisena’s administration must repay an estimated 1.97 trillion rupees ($12.85 billion) in 2018 - a record high - including $2.9 billion of foreign loans, and a total of $5.36 billion in interest.

Foreign investors bought 2.1 billion rupees worth of government securities this year up to Jan. 18, central bank data showed.

The rupee currency fell 2.5 percent last year, and 3.9 percent in 2016. (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez)

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