COLOMBO Jan 16 The Sri Lankan rupee ended
firmer on Thursday as dollar sales by exporters and banks
outpaced importer demand for the greenback, with the market
expecting the rupee to strengthen further in the near future.
Some dealers said investor sentiment on the currency was
positive because of expected inflows from a $1 billion sovereign
bond issue either on Thursday or Friday.
The spot rupee ended stronger at 130.60/67 per dollar
from Monday's close of 130.68/73. Both the currency and stock
markets were closed on Tuesday and Wednesday for public
"There has been a constant flow of dollars by exporters.
Importer dollar demand filled up pretty well and oil bills were
not there. That also helped to strengthen the rupee," said a
The rupee is likely to appreciate in the near term due to
inflows from the bond issue, dealers said. However, gains would
depend on whether the central bank wants to buy the inflows to
build up its reserves or increase dollar liquidity in the
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 3.5 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