REUTERS: The Sri Lankan rupee ended slightly weaker yesterday in dull trade as banks and importers bought dollars, dealers said.
The spot rupee, which traded at 153.80 per dollar during the day, ended at 153.75/85 per dollar, compared with Friday’s close of 153.65/75. The rupee gained 0.2 percent last week.
“Today, there was some demand from foreign banks during the latter part.
But the demand was not that big,” said a currency dealer.
Dealers expect a 2-3 percent depreciation in the rupee and higher volatility this year on account of debt repayment by the government.
Sri Lanka mopped up Rs.80 billion yesterday via treasury bonds after raising US $ 470.6 million on January 18 via development bonds, the Central Bank said.
President Maithripala Sirisena’s administration must repay an estimated Rs.1.97 trillion in 2018 - a record high - including US $ 2.9 billion of foreign loans, and a total of US $ 5.36 billion in interest.
Foreign investors bought Rs.3.9 billion worth of government securities this year up to January 24, the Central Bank data showed.
The rupee fell 2.5 percent last year, and 3.9 percent in 2016.