Reserve Kitty

August 07, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves stood at over seven billion dollars as at end July largely due to proceeds from the one billion sovereign bond, the central bank said. The island’s stock exchange netted in 205 million dollars during the seven month period, despite the benchmark All Share Price Index down 18.9 percent. After two consecutive years of positive growth, Colombo bourse has performed poorly this year due to credit concerns among key players. However, with prices cooling down, foreign buying has quietly stepped up among key counters.

Sri Lanka negotiated the loan from the IMF during the height of fighting and received the cash two months after the conflict with Tamil separatist rebels ended in May 2009.

The island’s foreign reserves had dropped to a dangerously low level of one billion dollars towards the end of the fighting that claimed up to 100,000 lives over nearly four decades.

The island’s foreign reserve stock stood at 7.2 billion dollars, just enough to cover four months of imports, the Colombo-based bank said Tuesday.

The one-billion 10-year debt issue, the island’s third Eurobond, was sold in July with a yield of 5.875 percent.