COLOMBO May 2 The Sri Lankan rupee ended steady
on Tuesday amid expectations of dollar inflows from a sovereign
bond issuance and syndicated loans, although importer demand for
the U.S. currency after a long weekend weighed on the market,
Sri Lanka expects to raise up to $1.5 billion via a
sovereign bond issuance and another $1 billion from two separate
Rupee forwards were active, with two-week forwards
closing at 153.30/35 per dollar, compared with Friday's close of
153.30/40. The markets were closed on Monday for the
International Labour day.
"The (importer) demand was there today, after the long
weekend, but the rupee traded steady in dull trade with many
(investors) waiting for the outcome of the bond sales," a
currency dealer said, asking not to be named.
Dealers expect the rupee to stabilise on higher dollar
liquidity after the expected inflows.
A government move to double the borrowing limit of
development bonds to $3 billion in 2017 is also expected to
Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake on Thursday blamed
"technical difficulties" for a two-month delay in receiving an
around $160 million loan tranche from the IMF and said the
disbursement was expected after June 14.
Sri Lanka has seen a rise in foreign inflows into equities
and government securities since early this month, with foreign
investors buying shares worth a net 13.7 billion rupees in 26
consecutive sessions through Friday.
Foreign investors also net bought government securities
worth 908.9 million rupees ($5.98 million) in the week ended
April 26, extending the net inflow to 7.2 billion rupees in four
consecutive weeks. But they have net sold 57 billion rupees
worth of government bonds so far this year.
($1 = 151.9000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by