Reuters - Sri Lankan fiveday rupee forwards were steady yesterday as greenback sales by exporters and inward remittances ahead of the Sinhala-Tamil new year next week offset importer dollar demand, dealers said. The forwards, which are called spot next and act as a proxy for the spot currency, traded at 144.90/145.20 per dollar, little changed from Thursday’s close of 145.00/145.20.
The spot rupee, which has not been active since Jan. 27, was not actively traded yesterday. The Central Bank has fixed the spot rupee’s trading price at 143.90 through moral suasion, dealers said. Central Bank officials were not available for comment. “There are remittances ahead of new year,” a currency dealer said. Sri Lanka will celebrate the Sinhala-Tamil New Year on April 13 and 14. One-week forwards, which were hovering near record lows last week, were also not actively traded on Wednesday for the fifth straight session, dealers said.
The rupee has been under pressure due to foreign investors exiting government securities and the country’s economic woes. Sri Lanka borrowed 25 percent more in 2015 than it did in 2014 due to high cost of refinancing loans raised by the previous government without parliamentary approval. Sri Lanka’s main stock index was 0.65 percent up at 6,270.96 at 0711 GMT yesterday. Turnover was Rs.573.3 million ($3.96 million). ($1 = 144.9000 Sri Lankan rupees)