September 20, 2017 / 11:41 AM / 3 months ago

Sri Lankan rupee ends firmer exporters sell dollar

COLOMBO, Sept 20 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee ended firmer on Wednesday as dollar selling by exporters surpassed mild demand for the greenback from importers, dealers said.

The spot rupee ended at 152.70/85 per dollar, compared with Tuesday’s close of 153.10/20.

“Lack of dollar demand helped appreciation,” said a currency dealer requesting anonymity,

“A foreign bank, which bought (dollars) over the last few days to service takeovers, was not seen active today,” The dealer added, referring to last week’s big ticket equity deals in the market.

Last week, diversified conglomerate Hayleys Plc said it purchased 61.73 percent of Singer Sri Lanka Plc for 10.9 billion rupees ($71.27 million) from Retail Holdings (Sri Lanka) BV a subsidiary of Retail Holdings .

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 saw 17.7 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($115.99 million) of net inflows into equities up to Wednesday’s close, and 9.4 billion rupees worth inflows into government securities as of Sept. 13, official data showed. ($1 = 152.6000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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