Sri Lanka official reserves drop to USD7.3bn in November

Dec 16, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s official reserves have dropped to 7,319.40 million US dollars in November from 7,489.98 million dollars in October, official Central Bank data showed.

Foreign currency reserves were 6,331.19 million dollars and reserves in gold were 917.07 million dollars in November. Reserve position in the IMF was 67.74 million dollars.

Central Bank’s Treasury bill holdings were down from 42,561.04 million rupees by end October to 20,255.06 million rupees by end November.

Central Bank purchases of foreign exchange from commercial banks at market rates amounted to 206.00 million US dollars in the month without any sales.

During the year up to 15 December 2017 the Sri Lanka rupee has depreciated against the US dollar by 2.3 percent.

Sri Lanka rupee has depreciated against the Pound Sterling by 10.7 percent, Euro by 12.7 percent, Japanese Yen by 5.9 percent and Indian Rupee by 7.5 percent during this period.

Central Bank Governor recently said Sri Lanka now has a buffer of around 100 to 110 billion to be used for the management of debt repayment peak next year.

“Fortuitously for us, the last five months of this year, there were no debt maturities; so we’ve used that space to raise money,” he said.

“Though there were no maturities, we raised 20 to 25 billion each month since August.”

He said there are seven large issuance days next year and even between those there will be 4 or 5 months where Sri Lanka can raise money to boost the buffer to manage the peak.