(Corrects market holidays in paragraph 5)
COLOMBO May 8 The Sri Lankan rupee forwards
traded slightly weaker on Monday due to mild dollar demand from
importers, but anticipated dollar inflows from sovereign bonds
and syndicated loans prevented steeper losses in the local
currency, dealers said.
Rupee forwards were active, with two-week forwards
trading at 153.20/40 per dollar at 0625 GMT, compared with
Friday's close of 153.00/20.
The spot rupee, which started trading on Friday
after four months, was not active, with the central bank's
reference rate at 152.10.
"There is some importer (dollar) demand, maybe due to the
holidays. But most of the investors are on the sidelines and
awaiting inflows," a currency dealer said.
Sri Lankan markets will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday
to mark a Buddhist religious holiday.
Sri Lanka drew a blowout response in its return to the
international bond market, attracting orders of more than $11
billion from 500 accounts for a $1.5 billion 10-year bond.
Currency dealers expect higher dollar liquidity from the
inflows to help stabilise the rupee.
The country expects another $1 billion from two separate
The central bank has allowed the currency to gradually
depreciate since mid-December, revising its spot reference rate
multiple times. It has said that defending the currency with
foreign exchange reserves did not "seem sensible".
The island nation has seen inflows into equities and
government securities since early April.
Sri Lankan shares were up 0.4 percent at 6,665.53, as
of 0627 GMT, its highest since May 19. Turnover stood at 482.1
million rupees ($3.17 million).
($1 = 152.2000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by