Sri Lanka rupee opens firmer, stocks weaker, bonds quiet ahead of first auction for 2019
ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s rupee was firmer on Friday morning, while the bond market was quiet ahead of the year’s first auction.
The rupee was quoted at 181.70/95 to the US dollar in the spot market, slightly firmer from yesterday’s close of 181.90/182.10 to the US dollar.
The Reserve Bank of India has agreed to a 400 million dollar swap with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to boost investor confidence and strengthen the currency.
Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera is travelling to Washington today to regain a halted loan from the International Monetary Fund, with a possibility of extending it for a longer period.
Call money was 8.90/9.00 percent, while reverse repo rates were around 8.95/9.00 percent.
Dealers said there was little activity in bond markets early morning ahead of the first primary auction of 2019.
Twelve-month Treasury Bills were quoted around 10.75/85, flat from Thursday’s close.
A bond maturing 15.5.23 was quoted at 11.50/65, with no change.
A bond maturing 1.8.26 was quoted 11.65/75, flat from a day earlier.
The state debt office will be issuing 98 billion rupees in bonds later Friday.
The debt office is offering 48 billion rupees of bond maturing on 15.12.2023, which is a new maturity.
Another 50 billion rupees of 01.09.2028 bonds will be issued.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka stocks opened weaker, with the All-Share Price Index down 0.05 percent or 3.05 points to 5,981 in the first half-hour of trading.
The more liquid S&P SL20 Index was down 0.03 percent, or 1.05 points to 3,036.57.
Nearly all of the trades were on Melstacorp, down 1 rupee to 46 rupees intraday; Commercial Bank, flat at 114 rupees and Dialog Axiata, down 10 cents to 10 rupees. (Colombo/Jan11/2019)