Sri Lanka bonds volatile after rate freeze

July 13, 2009 (LBO) – Three year bond yields edged up slightly Monday as the central bank froze its policy rate at 11.00 percent, but fell back in late trading dealers said, while yields at an auction also stayed steady. The government’s debt office which is a unit of the central bank said it sold 3-year bond maturing on 15.02.2012 at 12.90 percent raising 472 million rupees. Similar bonds were last auctioned at 13.73 percent on April 29, dealers said.

The 3-year bond spiked to 13.25 percent levels Monday, after the Central Bank held rates steady against market expectations of a 25 basis point rate cut. But the bond later settled at 13.10 levels.

A 4-year bond maturing on 15.06.2013 was sold at 12.96 percent at today’s action raising 250 million rupees.

A bond maturing on 01.02.13 was last auctioned on June 26, also at 12.96, dealers said.

A 5-year bond maturing on 01.05.2014 was auctioned at 13.00 percent. There had been no recent auctions of the bond, dealers said.

Dealers say the market is awaiting word on an International Monetary Fund loan which will increase confidence on the country.

Though the central bank has brought inflation down, the fiscal picture is looking weak. Under an IMF program budget become firmer.

Though revenue is falling the government last week sought parliamentary permission to increase spending.

Excess liquidity in money markets rose 26.3 billion rupees, dealers said.