December 5, 2017 / 11:48 AM / in a year

Sri Lankan rupee ends firmer on remittances

COLOMBO, Dec 5 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee closed stronger on Tuesday led by selling of the dollar by exporters and year-end inflows of the greenback in the form of remittances, dealers said.

The spot rupee ended at 153.30/40 per dollar, compared with Monday’s close of 153.55/60.

“Demand (for the dollar) is not there as seasonal imports have finished ... oil demand is also not there,” said a currency dealer, adding that the dollar demand has slightly waned, lending support to the rupee.

“The year-end inward remittances are helping the rupee to strengthen.”

The rupee has lost 2.5 percent so far this year.

The market has been waiting for more clarity over a foreign exchange management act introduced by the government last month.

Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said the new act would decriminalise offences related to foreign exchange trading and impose fines instead.

The government, in its 2018 budget, imposed new taxes on high-end vehicles, telecoms, banks and liquor in a bid to boost revenues.

Foreign investors bought equities net worth 18.8 billion rupees ($122.64 million) this year, as of Tuesday’s close. They bought government securities net worth 49.2 billion rupees as of Nov. 29, official data showed. ($1 = 153.3000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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