Sri Lanka treasury yields plummet, rupee gains

Oct 31, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka treasury yields plummeted at Wednesday’s auction with the benchmark 3-month bill falling 143 basis points to 15.80 percent as domestic borrowings reduced in the wake of a foreign bond issue. The government’s debt office said it retired 3.1 billion worth maturing debt and accepted 8.5 billion worth of bids.

The six month yield fell to 16.97 from 17.36 percent while the 12-month yield was flat at 17.16 percent.

The weighted average yield fell to 16.90 percent from 17.22 percent.

Meanwhile in the forex markets the spot dollar fell below 111.00 rupees to trade at 110.90 to 110.95 rupees.

The rupee has been steadily falling from 113.50 levels against the greenback since the government raised 500 million dollars in international markets.

When the central bank stopped sterilized intervention and tightened monetary policy by reducing money printing in late August the rupee fell and then started to stabilize.

But before the bond proceeds came the central bank was holding the rupee at around 113.50 and collecting reserves despite market pressure for the rupee to appreciate.

In the last few days a state bank has been actively selling dollars speeding up the process.

If the rupee appreciates faster than market fundamentals drive it, analysts warn that the benefits of the bond proceeds to the economy would also run out faster as it would boost consumption.

Authorities have indicated that the rupee would be allowed to appreciate to 110 to the dollar.

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