September 19, 2017 / 11:38 AM / a year ago

Sri Lankan rupee falls on dollar demand from banks

COLOMBO, Sept 19 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee ended weaker on Tuesday as dollar demand from banks and importers surpassed selling of the greenback by exporters, dealers said.

The spot rupee which was traded at 153.40 per dollar during the day, recovered and ended at 153.10/20 per dollar. It closed at 153.05/10 on Monday.

“A foreign bank bought (dollars) today, probably for takeovers,” said a currency dealer requesting anonymity, referring to last week’s big ticket equity deals in the market.

“There were some exporter conversions also today,” the dealer added.

Last week, diversified conglomerate Hayleys Plc said it purchased 61.73 percent of Singer Sri Lanka Plc for 10.9 billion rupees ($71.27 million) from Retail Holdings (Sri Lanka) BV a subsidiary of Retail Holdings .

The rupee has been under pressure since January after the central bank stopped defending the currency and started buying dollars to build up the country’s depleted foreign currency reserves.

The island nation saw 17.1 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($111.69 million) of net inflows into equities up to Tuesday’s close, and 9.4 billion rupees worth inflows into government securities as of Sept. 13, official data showed. ($1 = 153.1000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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