Short Break

The Central Bank has deferred its planned roadshow to raise dollar funds for the government.
The US$ 100 mn fund raising exercise was due to kick off on Monday, but top Central Bank officials said the date has been deferred pending progress from the next round of peace talks and a recent cut in US interest rates.rn

rnThe US government recently lowered its short-term rates by 50 basis points to 1.25 percent. The Central Bank feels they can secure funds at a more affordable rate if they defer the roadshow by a few weeks.rn

rnSources close to the issue said the government is now looking at a possible date in December or the first quarter of next year.rn

rnLast month, Deutsche Bank and UBS Warburg were jointly mandated to raise US$ 100 mn through a five-year floating rate note. The lead managers were also given the option of raising a further US$ 50 mn if the terms are favourable to the government.rn

rnCentral Banks Deputy Governor, W A Wijewardene was due to lead the Lankan delegation from November 11-14, to Singapore, Dubai, Bahrain, London and Abu Dhabi.rn

rnCitibank also got a separate mandate to raise US$ 150 mn through a five-year syndicated loan. rn

rnSources said there is no change in Citibanks mandate and the funds are due to come in by end-November.rn

rnThe issue comes with a 90 percent guarantee from Japanese government backed Nippon Export Investment Insurance Co. or NEXI. The funds will be raised purely through Japanese banks.rn