Borrowing Cheap

Jan.20 (LBO) – Sri Lanka plans use its sovereign rating and issue up to a billion dollars in overseas bonds this year to pay for key infrastructure projects, Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundara said Friday. Jan.20 (LBO) – Sri Lanka plans use its sovereign rating and issue up to a billion dollars in overseas bonds this year to pay for key infrastructure projects, Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundara said Friday. Pitched mainly at expatriate countrymen, the first tranche of the bond issue could be out as early as next month.

“We have large scale infrastructure projects like roads, power lined up in the pipeline worth over US$ 1.5 billion…so we will issue between US$ 500 million to US$ 1 billion worth of bonds in the international market this year,” he said addressing businessmen at a forum organised by HSBC Bank.

Sri Lanka’s central bank, which raises debt for the government, is at present talking to local commercial banks on how to structure the issue and get the best deal for the country.

Bankers close to the deal have suggested that the government start off with US$ 100 million and scale up as things go on.

Last December, two international rating agencies – Fitch Ratings and Standard