Sri Lanka rupee continues to plumb depths, PM Ranil blames global crisis

Business | 3 Oct 2018 7:22 pm

Despite late measures including restrictions on imports of politicians' duty free super luxury cars such as Mercedes-Benzes, BMWs, Audis, and Range Rover Discovery SUVs, the Sri Lankan rupee continued to fall today versus the US dollar.

The heavily indebted government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesighe has been lurching from one crisis to another, and the country has to settle debts of US$4 billion next year. Growth under the regime, riddled with corruption, has slowed to a crawl.

The rupee ended at 169.20/45 per US dollar, compared with the previous close of 168.90/169.00, Reuters data show.

Premier Wickremesinghe has blamed a non-existent global economic crisis and a global financial crisis for the rupee's woes in political speeches targeting a domestic audience, while Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has asked the public to shun foreign products.

The Central Bank had spent US$1.2 billion to defend the free-falling rupee.

Reuters reports that the Colombo stock index fell 0.17 percent to 5,807.74, its lowest close since December 13, 2013.

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