Sri Lanka forex market firm quotes, liquidity slightly lower

July 12, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s forex markets saw firm quotes for the spot US dollar Friday at around 130.85/131.00 though trading was still active for spot-next deals where settlement is made three days ahead, dealers said. On Thursday the debt office sold April 11, 2018 bonds at a weighted average yield of 11.18 percent, lower than the secondary market rate and also lower than an earlier auction at 11.45 percent.

Eight year bonds were sold to yield 11.55 percent lower than the an 11.77 percent average at the last auction and a 20 year bond was sold to average a yield of 12.30 percent, slightly higher from an earlier a 12.15 percent.

Update II
The spot market dried up and there were no firm quotes earlier in the week amid moral suasion by authorities, dealers said. But active trading is still to return to forex markets.

Excess liquidity in the interbank market (the aggregate clearing balance) dropped to 28.2 billion rupees on Thursday from 38 billion rupees a week earlier amid steady unsterilized sales of foreign exchange by the Central Bank.

Unsterilized dollar sales helps contract the monetary base or excess liquidity and strengthens the exchange rates and does not contribute to further demand or import pressure, though there is a reduction in foreign reserves.

On Friday the Central Bank also announced auctions to sell outright 5.8 billion rupees of Treasury bills in its stock.

Outright sales of Treasuries also reduce liquidity and prevent bank credit, but helps conserve foreign reserves.

Excess liquidity rose sharply this month after the Central Bank released over 45 billion rupees of liquidity into the banking system through a reserve ratio cut.

In bond markets a liquid 5-year bond maturing on April 01, 2018 was quoted at 11.25/28 percent after an auction a day earlier.