Sri Lanka rupee falls on importer dollar demand

COLOMBO Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:09am EST

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COLOMBO Jan 20 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee ended a tad weaker on Monday due to importer dollar demand, while dealers said a government decision to keep a $1 billion inflow from a recent sovereign bond sale with the central bank's reserves could hurt the currency.

The spot rupee closed at 130.75/77 per dollar, tad weaker from Friday's close of 130.73/75.

Swarna Gunaratne, the head of central bank's Economic Research Department said the government has kept the inflows in the central bank's reserves after it came into the country last week.

"It will be added into the foreign reserves and used later," she told Reuters after market-hours on Monday.

The central bank said on Jan. 2 it expected the rupee to strengthen in the medium term and any direct intervention in the foreign exchange market would be minimum.

The rupee has gained about 3.4 percent since it hit a record low of 135.20 on Aug. 28. It lost 2.5 percent in 2013. (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Anand Basu)

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