Free Flow

July 02, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Central Bank has relaxed exchange controls for emigrants in a move it said aimed at further promoting stable capital mobility and improving investor confidence in the country. The new rules allow previous emigrants to take out without any restriction balances in blocked accounts where their wealth had been deposited, a Central Bank statement said.

New emigrants can repatriate up to 150,000 dollars to cover allowances and personal effects like jewellery when migrating and up to 20,000 dollars or its equivalent a year.

The bank said the move was the fourth in the most recent series of policy initiatives designed to promote international investor confidence and secure comparative advantages by moving to global financial markets.

It is also aimed at further mobilizing foreign savings to address the country’s domestic savings-investment gap.

The previous three liberalization measures allowed foreigners to invest in Treasury bonds, Treasury bills and commercial bank deposits within certain limits.

The bank said “there has been a long-felt need to facilitate smooth migration by rationalising rules on outward remittances permitted at the time of migration.”