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REFILE-Sri Lanka rupee to show 'stable' behaviour in coming months governor
October 7, 2013 / 4:14 AM / 4 years ago

REFILE-Sri Lanka rupee to show 'stable' behaviour in coming months governor

(Refiling to make date of IMF comment in 6th paragraph Sept 25, not Oct 2)

* Governor says steps taken to deal with volatility

* Rupee hit record low of 135.20 per dlr on Aug. 28

* IMF concerned over intervention in rupee

By Shihar Aneez

COLOMBO, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka’s currency will “behave in a stable manner” in the next few months as the central bank has taken steps needed to deal with a volatile environment, Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said Friday.

The Sri Lankan rupee hit a record low of 135.20 against the U.S. dollar on Aug. 28, but since then has risen 3.2 percent, helped by inflows from a corporate bond.

On Friday, it was trading at 131.30/50 per dollar, near its 2-1/2-month high.

“We have had a long-term view. We have taken steps which are needed in a volatile environment,” Cabraal told Reuters in an interview.

In the next few months, “we are confident that the rupee’s behaviour will be of a stable manner... we have factored in most of the external and internal factors,” the governor said.

The International Monetary Fund on Sept. 25 raised concerns over repeated intervention in the foreign exchange market to stabilise the rupee and urged the central bank to limit its intervention “to dealing with excessive short term volatility”.

The monetary authority intervenes in the market to prevent sharp volatility in the rupee.

Currency dealers expect the rupee to gain further as they anticipated a private bank will issue a dollar-denominated corporate bond raising at least $250 million.

Cabraal said he does not feel the rupee needs an appreciating trend. “I see it is at a stable position. It can trade in a certain band. It can appreciate within that band,” he said without elaborating on the central bank’s band.

Since February 2012, the central bank has allowed greater flexibility in rupee trading.

Between early July and mid-August, the rupee fell 4 percent as some foreign investors sold local bonds as U.S. Treasury yields rose in anticipation the U.S. Federal Reserve would start trimming its stimulus.

The currency, which depreciated about 10 percent in 2012, has weakened 2.7 percent this year.

$1 = 131.4500 Sri Lanka rupees Editing by Richard Borsuk

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