Sri Lanka bonds illiquid, rupee weaker after devaluation

Nov 22, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s bonds were illiquid with two way quotes absent for several maturities Tuesday as market participants looked for direction following a surprise devaluation of the rupee, dealers said. The Central Bank gave guidance to the market at 113.50/90 rupees through a state bank.

Liquidity in bond markets dried up gradually over the past three months amid intervention in forex markets to defend the rupee after high credit growth began to pressure a dollar peg.

A 2015 bond was quoted 9.80/95 percent after following early wide quotes at 9.60/10.20 percent, up about 15 basis points from a day earlier.

2016 bonds were offered around 9.80 percent with bids around 10.15 to 10.25 percent but firm bids were not visible, dealers said.

At other maturities there were offers but no buyers.

“Markets are illiquid, volumes offered are small,” a dealer said.

One year repos were done as high as 8.60 percent, dealers said.

In forex markets the spot dollar traded around 113.88/90 rupees following a surprise 3 percent devaluation announced in the budget a day earlier.