(Corrects to remove extra word from first paragraph. Also
changes to 'measures' from 'meetings' in 6th paragraph)
    * Two time tightening measures fail to prevent rupee fall
    * T-bill yields up 116-195 bps since February rate hike
    * Policy decision due March 29 at 1230 GMT

    COLOMBO, March 28 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's central bank is
expected to raise its key interest rates by at least 25 basis
points on Tuesday, a Reuters poll showed, as it seeks to reduce
downward pressure on the fragile local currency.
    Seven out of 13 economists surveyed expect the Central Bank
of Sri Lanka to raise both its standing deposit facility rate
(SDFR) and its standing lending facility rate (SLFR): four
expect 50 basis point increases in both rates while two expect
25 basis point increases in both rates. One analyst expects both
rates to be raised by 100 basis points.
    The central bank raised the SDFR and the SLFR by 50 basis
points each at its policy meeting last month. This followed an
increase in commercial banks' statutory reserve ratio by 150
basis points in December.
    "The correct measure is to raise the rates," said Danushka
Samarasinghe, research head at Softlogic Stockbrokers.
    "It will help cooling off the system and further ease the
pressure on the currency."  
    However, some dealers say the central bank may hold policy
until it sees the results of its previous two policy tightening
measures.
    Six analysts expect the central bank to keep the SDFR and
the SLFR steady at 6.50 percent and 8.00 percent, respectively.
    All 13 economists expect the statutory reserve ratio to
remain unchanged at 7.50 percent.
    Some analysts say a rate hike could strengthen Sri Lanka's
position in its negotiations for a loan with the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) as it would signal a readiness to stem
outflows and consolidate its finances. 
    The IMF has urged Sri Lanka to reduce its fiscal deficit,
raise government revenue and improve foreign exchange reserves,
which were at $6.6 billion as of end-February, down by nearly a
third from October 2014 when they touched a record high.
    Private sector credit growth by commercial banks, which was
as high as 27 percent year-on-year in November, grew at 25.1
percent in December, slowing for the first time since August
2014. 
    While local treasury bill yields have risen by between 116
and 195 basis points across the curve since the key policy rate
hikes in February, the tightening has failed to relieve pressure
on the currency. 
    The rupee has come under pressure due to lower interest
rates, higher imports, and foreign outflows from government
securities.
    The spot rupee is hovering at 144.00 per dollar, but banks
are reluctant to trade below the 144.00 level amid moral suasion
from the central bank, currency dealers say. The one-week rupee
forward has been trading at around 147.80 to the dollar since
Jan. 27. 
    Following are poll forecasts for rates on Tuesday: 
         
                    SDFR         SLFR        SRR
                  (in pct)    (in pct)     (in pct)    
Median              6.75         8.25       7.50
Average             6.77         8.27       7.50  
Minimum             6.50         8.00       7.50
Maximum             7.50         9.00       7.50   
Rates in February   6.50         8.00       7.50
No. of economists    13           13         13

 (Reporting by Shihar Aneez and Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Sam
Holmes)

ADVERTISEMENT