Patriotic Rates

Feb.03 (LBO) — Sri Lanka Friday announced plans to issue US$250 million-worth of sovereign bonds with the first US$25 million tranche going on sale next Monday, officials said. Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera said the securities dubbed, “Sri Lanka Nation Building Bonds,” give expatriate countrymen a chance to take part in the island’s development activities.

“We don’t need the money. But there are some patriotic people out there who want to share in the nation building process,” he told reporters.

“A lot of Sri Lankans working abroad have expressed their desire to have their savings in foreign currency denominated bonds,” he said.

Pressed by mediamen, Jayasundera could not name a specific development project where the money would go.

But he said the government had lined up a number of donor-funded projects and the money can go toward providing counterparty funds.

State-run Bank of Ceylon will lead manage the issue, with Deutsche Bank AG acting as custodians.

To kick off the process, Jayasundara said the government would start with a smaller US$25 million tranche and raise the balance, depending on the appetite and the state’s requirements