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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2958

Sri Lanka Rupee that fell 16% last year reverses in 2019 January

Colombo, 03 January, (

Sri Lanka's rupee which has been declining steadily against the US dollar closed stronger on 1 February.

The rupee closed at 176.80/10 to the US dollar in the spot market on Friday. On Thursday the rupee closed at 178.35/55 to the US dollar.

When Ravi Karunanayake was sworn in as the Minister of Finance in January 2015, the Sri Lankan rupee stood at 134.03 rupees against the US Dollar. During his tenure of two and a half years, the Sri Lankan rupee depreciated by 15.3% or Rs. 20.5, to Rs. 154.53 against the US dollar by the end of May 2017.

Karunanayake’s successor Mangala Samaraweera was thereafter sworn in as the Minister of Finance in May 2017. The Sri Lankan rupee which then stood at 154 rupees against the US Dollar plunged to a new low of Rs. 160 against the US Dollar by June 2018.

By the 20th of September this year, the rupee further plunged to Rs. 170 against the US dollar. Thereafter, within a period of two months, the rupee further depreciated by another ten rupees, and by the 23rd of November 2018, the rupee plunged to Rs. 180 against the US Dollar.

During Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s tenure as the minister of finance, the Sri Lankan rupee has depreciated by 19.11% or by approximately 30 rupees.

The 1st February closing of dollar was 2.8% stronger against its value a week earlier.

Overall the SL rupee which has been battling with US $ as of December 2018 has strengthened by 3.4% since start of 2019. In 2018 SL Rupee was the worst performing currency in Asia, falling by 16%.

- Asian Tribune -

Mangala Samaraweera - The Current Finance Minister: Ravi Karunanayake - the earlier one.
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