Sri Lankan rupee edges up on bank dollar sales; stocks slip

July 25, 2016 (Reuters) – The Sri Lankan rupee edged up on Monday as dollar selling by a state-run bank surpassed importer demand for the greenback, dealers said.

One-week rupee forwards, which have been acting as a proxy for the spot rupee, were at 146.05/20 per dollar at 0623 GMT, compared with Friday’s close of 146.20/40.

“The importer demand (for dollars) is there but a state bank is selling dollars,” said a currency dealer, asking not to be named.

Central bank officials were not available for comment.

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake on July 12 said the rupee would “obviously appreciate” on inflows from the country’s first sale of dual-tranche eurobonds, while Central Bank Deputy Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe last week said the $1.5 billion raised from the bond sale had been absorbed into foreign reserves.

The spot rupee was not traded on Monday.

Spot-next, which are rupee forwards settled three days after the spot rupee settlement, stood at 145.90/05 per dollar, compared with Friday’s close of 146.00/20.

The Sri Lankan stock index was down 0.1 percent at 6,422.37 as of 0627 GMT, on a turnover of 144.1 million rupees ($988,001.37).

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