Sri Lankan rupee ends up at 100 against the greenback, on the back of heavy dollar inflows to aid tsunami relief projects

The Sri Lankan rupee is expected to strengthen further on the back of heavy dollar inflows to aid the tsunami relief programmes, the Central Bank Governor said Wednesday. The Sri Lankan rupee is expected to strengthen further on the back of heavy dollar inflows to aid the tsunami relief programmes, the Central Bank Governor said Wednesday. Governor Sunil Mendis said that the aid flows since last Sunday, have already had a positive impact on the exchange rate. “We expect the rupee to strengthen further in the coming days,” he told journalists.

The rupee, which traded at 104.50 against the greenback before the disaster, ended up at 100.50 against the dollar on Wednesday. The currency hit an intraday low of Rs. 99 as well today, traders said.

State coffers are also flushed with foreign remittances by individuals, who are digging deep to help out the tsunami victims.

“The Central Bank’s special tsunami account has received more than US$ 15 mn so far, and figure should be higher if we add funds that have come into the banking system,” says Dr. Ranee Jayamaha, Deputy Governor.

The bank estimates the cost of reconstruction alone at about US$ 1.5 bn this year, with the government looking for foreign donor support.

Sri Lanka has also asked the International Monetary Fund for US$ 300 mn in emergency assistance to tide over the crisis, Mendis said.

-LBO Newsdesk: LBOEmail@vanguardlanka.com