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Sri Lanka raised the capital requirement for money changers by 900 percent and paved the way for dealers to open branches, the Central Bank said Friday. Sri Lanka raised the capital requirement for money changers by 900 percent and paved the way for dealers to open branches, the Central Bank said Friday. Starting July 1, the minimum capital requirement goes up from Rs. 1 million to Rs. 10 million. Those who wish to open branches have to cough up an extra Rs. 5 million for each unit.

Existing players have six months to top up their capital or lose their licence.

“We want to strengthen the existing market and ensure the money changers stand on a sound financial footing. A branch network will also give the corporate some credibility,” Exchange Control Chief, H A G Hettiarachchi told LBO.

Since 1991, fifty nine money changers currently operate alongside licence commercial banks in Sri Lanka.

“They (money changers) provide a supplementary service to commercial banks, making it easier for tourists or Sri Lankans to convert their foreign currency notes into rupees and exchange foreign currency,” Hettiarachchi explained.

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