Sri Lanka business loans surge in February: data

Apr 27, 2010 (LBO) – Loans from Sri Lanka’s commercial banks to the private business rose 16.5 billion rupees in February in the biggest monthly gain seen since a credit contraction ended in September, official data shows. Credit to the private sector grew to 1,212.3 billion rupees in February from 1,195.8 billion rupees a month earlier, the Central Bank said.

Credit to private sector from domestic banking units (rupee loans) grew to 1,064.0 billion rupees from 1,048.7 billion rupees.

Loans from foreign currency banking units grew slightly to the equivalent of 148.3 billion from 147.1 billion rupees a month earlier.

Credit to state corporations rose to 90.1 billion rupees from 76.3 billion rupees in January.

Sri Lanka’s central bank has been unwilling to tighten monetary policy amid government cash demands and a desire to boost credit, and inflation is now 6.3 percent. Meanwhile central bank credit to government rose in February, re-inforcing fears expressed by analysts that a process of ‘quantity easing’ has been underway in the first quarter and monetary policy has loosened despite rates being steady.