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Sri Lanka rupee hits 14-month lows

(December 29, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Sri Lankan rupee fell 0.3 percent in early trade on Monday to its lowest level in more than 14 months on dollar buying by importers, dealers said.

The currency fell to 113.10/113.30 per dollar, its weakest since Oct. 18, 2007, according to Reuters data.Currency dealers from two foreign banks and three local banks said a state bank, which usually represents the central bank, was not seen to be in the market.

"There wes import demand for dollars and a state bank which usually intervenes in the market representing the central bank was not seen today," said a currency dealer on condition of anonymity.

The rupee has fallen around 2.8 percent since on Dec. 8 and 4.6 percent since Oct. 30, when the central bank permitted limited rupee depreciation to boost the competitiveness of the country's exports.

The rupee hit its life low of 113.45/65 per dollar on Sept. 19, 2007.

Many analysts say the central bank allowed the rupee to depreciate to meet one of the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund for possible funding.

Central bank governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal told Reuters last week that the rupee has been allowed to depreciate "a little bit" to improve export competitiveness after "tremendous pressure" built up with exporters on lack of depreciation.-Agencies
- Sri Lanka Guardian

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