Sri Lanka had BOP surplus by end July: Central Bank

Sept 29, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka had recorded a balance of payments surplus of 1,006 million US dollars by July 2011, with official foreign reserves climbing to 8,099 million US dollars, the Central Bank said. Foreign inflows to the state, including a billion dollar sovereign bond was 2,754 million US dollars and foreign direct investments were 413 million US dollars, creating a balance of payments surplus of 1,006 million US dollars.

Relaxation of exchange controls had allowed 14 companies to borrow 197.1 million dollars abroad by mid September 2011. Twenty new foreign companies had started business in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s rupee peg had come under pressure in recent weeks.

In the spot market the dollar was quoted 110.18/20 rupees Thursday, pointing to some deals done a tad under the intervention rate of 110.20 rupees, dealers said. Official reserves were equal to 5.7 months of imports by end July.

The central bank said up to July exports rose 30.3 percent to 6,014 million dollars and imports rose 48.3 percent to 11,091 million dollars.

Imports rose due to investment goods, and intermediate goods like oil. Sri Lanka’s oil bill had risen 39.4 percent to 2,493 million dollars in the s