Re At 8-month Closing High Of 48.3750/38

Mumbai, September 27: | Updated: Sep 28 2002, 05:30am hrs
The rupee hit an eight-month closing high against the dollar on Friday and closed at 48.3750/38, up by two and half paise from its overnight close of 48.3950/4050. Its rally was aided by foreign fund inflows as foreign institutional investors (FII) bought 16.5 per cent stake at ICICI Bank. The rupee opened a tad higher at 48.39/3950 from its overnight close of 48.3950/4050. The volume in the foreign exchange market was good as the half-yearly closing is approaching, a forex dealer with a state-run bank said. There was good export-dollar sales even as demand for dollar remained thin.

Market sentiment improved rapidly following the huge FII inflow, dealers said. ICICI Bank has sold about 16.5 per cent stake amounting to 101.4 million shares for $272.4 million to seven foreign investors. An affiliate of Canadas Lombard Insurance and funds managed by the Government of Singapore bought the bulk of the stake. The rupee saw its intra-day high at 48.3750 with 48.3950 being the intra-day low.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) fixed its reference rate for dollar at 48.38 (48.39) while it fixed the reference rate for the euro at 47.25 (47.34).

With the rupees bull run, forward premiums eased marginally. Forwards were also buoyed by softer call money rates. The benchmark six-month annualised premium closed a tad lower at 4.08 per cent, while the one-year annualised premium closed lower at 4.10 per cent. In morning trades, premiums remained slightly tight, but later softened a bit following the rupees rally.