November 19, 2018 / 8:30 AM / 23 days ago

Sri Lankan rupee hits record low of 177.20 against dollar

COLOMBO, Nov 19 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee fell to a record low on Monday as political uncertainty deepened a day after President Maithripala Sirisena called for a third vote on a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Sirisena’s move comes after Rajapaksa, his choice to lead the government, was voted out twice within days by a majority in a no-confidence motion.

The rupee hit a record low of 177.20 against the U.S. dollar on Monday, compared with Friday’s close of 176.60/80. It has fallen more than 15 percent so far this year, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

Exporters are not converting dollars and that has resulted in a lack of dollar liquidity in the market, sources said.

“Who is going to convert or bring dollars in this uncertainty? The political uncertainty has really hit the rupee and we don’t know where this depreciation will end up,” one source told Reuters.

Sirisena late last month removed and replaced Ranil Wickremesinghe with Rajapaksa, plunging the island off India’s southeast coast into political turmoil. (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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