Debt Call

The Central Bank on Friday sought proposals from reputed international investment banks to raise dollar funds.
The government is looking at raising up to US$ 350 mn via long term funds. The issue will carry a minimum tenure of five years and will form part of the governments borrowing programme.

rnrnBanks have been asked to submit their proposals by September 6. The government is keen to conclude the transaction by end October.

rnCentral Bank officials said they were keeping an open mind on the actual structure of the issue. The funds could through via a syndicated loan or a medium term note. The government will also not seek a sovereign rating for the issue.

rnGlobal financial players like Solomon Smith Barney, JP Morgan, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank had earlier spoken to Central Bank to offer their assistance.

rnrnThe total borrowing programme for 2002 is estimated at Rs. 329 bn with Rs. 70 bn scheduled from foreign commercial and concessionary lending. As at end June, the government has raised around Rs. 30 bn.rn