COLOMBO May 4 The Sri Lankan rupee ended
slightly higher on Thursday as exporters sold the dollar and a
statement from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that it may
review the country's request to complete a second loan review
boosted the sentiment.
The move comes a day after the IMF said its executive board
was likely to consider in June Sri Lanka's request for the
completion of a second loan review, a requirement for disbursing
a third tranche of aid.
The rupee has been strengthening on expectations of inflows
from a sovereign bond issuance and syndicated loans, dealers
"Every body is waiting for the sovereign bond and the SLDB
(Sri Lanka Development Bond). It is the moral booster and the
reserve booster," a currency dealer said.
He expects the rupee to stabilise on higher dollar liquidity
after the anticipated inflows.
The country expects to raise up to $1.5 billion via a
sovereign bond issuance and another $1 billion from two separate
The Lankan government has tightened final guidance to 6.25
percent plus or minus 5 basis points a 10-year U.S. dollar bond
offering after an initial yield guidance of 6.625 percent area.
Rupee forwards were active, with two-week forwards
ended tad firmer at 153.25/35 per dollar, from Wednesday's close
"There was some selling by foreign banks and there was not
much of demand for the latter part of the day," the dealer said.
Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake had last week blamed
"technical difficulties" for a two-month delay in receiving an
around $160 million loan tranche from the International Monetary
Fund and said the disbursement was expected after June 14.
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 = 152.1000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas