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Sri Lankan rupee ends lower as banks, importers buy dollar

Sri Lankan rupee ends lower as banks, importers buy dollar

COLOMBO:  The Sri Lankan rupee ended marginally lower on Wednesday as dollar demand from importers and banks surpassed selling of the greenback by exporters, dealers said. The spot rupee ended at 152.90/153.00 per dollar, down from Tuesday’s close of 152.80/90. “There was sizable demand toady. We have seen some demand from state banks, probably to pay oil bills. A foreign bank bought dollars, may be for a payment,” said a currency dealer, requesting anonymity. Dealers said the rupee will be under pressure with some equity related transactions.

After market hours, diversified conglomerate Hayleys Plc said it will purchase 61.73 percent of Singer Sri Lanka Plc for 10.9 billion rupees ($71.27 million). The rupee has been under pressure since January after the central bank stopped defending the currency and started buying dollars to build up the country’s depleted foreign currency reserves. The island nation had seen 27.6 billion rupees of net inflows into equities up to Wednesday’s close, and 6.6 billion rupees worth inflows into government securities as of Sept. 6, official data showed.