COLOMBO, March 17 The Sri Lankan rupee edged
down on Friday on dollar demand from a foreign bank, but a state
bank sold dollars, capping losses in the local currency, dealers
The banking regulator has been preventing spot rupee
trades below 151.35 per dollar, dealers said. Central
bank officials were not available for comment.
The spot currency was quoted at 151.90/152.50 per dollar,
but not traded.
Rupee forwards were active, with two-week forwards
trading at 153.20/30 per dollar at 0542 GMT, down from
Thursday's close of 153.10/25.
"There was heavy dollar demand from a foreign bank likely
for bond outflows and large import bill," said a currency
dealer, asking not to be named.
A state bank, through which the central bank usually guides
the market, sold dollars to some banks, easing pressure on the
currency, dealers said.
The central bank, on behalf of the government, raised a
record $973.25 million through a Sri Lanka Development Bond
auction on Tuesday and inflows are expected from Friday.
The expectation of inflows did not, however, change the
perception of the rupee, which has been under pressure for more
than three months.
The currency has depreciated 1.6 percent so far this year,
having lost 3.9 percent against the dollar last year. Dealers
expect the rupee to depreciate between 6 percent and 8 percent
Sri Lankan shares were largely flat at 6,030.33, as
of 0546 GMT. Turnover stood at 630.1 million rupees ($4.15
($1 = 151.8000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by