ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s commercial banks quoted the rupee at 375 on the week ending May 06 while the secondary bond market witnessed sporadic activity, participants said.

The kerb market ended the week around 397/400 to the US dollar on May 07.

The central bank’s indicative spot was quoted at 358.5 against the US dollar on Friday while the TT rate was 361.7/374.9 against the US almost close to the commercial bank rates.t

Sri Lanka’s new Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe jacked-up policy rates to 14.50 percent from 7.50 percent and also allowed Treasury bill yields to rise which would eventually slow private credit and investment and imports.

The falling rupee had also impoverished the population of the island which will reduce consumption and support the rupee as long as not new money is printed.

Sri Lanka’s rupee fell steeply after an attempted float in March due to low policy rates and a surrender rule. Electricity prices were also not raised, driving bank credit up with losses, unlike a float in 2012 after printing money.

In debt markets, a bond maturing on 01.5.27 was quoted at 21.50/22.00 percent on Friday, easing from 21.75/21.90 per cent on Thursday.

Market participants said they saw some activity in 2025, 2022, three months and 12-month maturities.

A bond maturing on 01.06.2025 was quoted at 21.50/22.00 percent on Friday.

The three-month bill was quoted at 21.00/22.00 percent, easing from 22.00/22.50 percent on Thursday.

The 12-month bill was quoted at 23.00/24.00 percent, flat from the previous day’s close.

At Wednesday’s Treasuries auction yields stabilized with strong demand from genuine buyers, dealer said.

Sri Lanka is facing the worst currency crisis triggered by the island’s economists who maintain an intermediate regime central bank after it attempted to target an output gap. (Colombo/May 06/2022)