Sri Lanka opens T-bills to foreigners

May 06, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has allowed foreign investors to buy short term treasury bills from Tuesday, the government’s debt office said, as global credit conditions made buyers wary of long term instruments. Sri Lanka had permitted foreign investors to buy Treasury bonds which have a maturity of one year or more in November 2006.

Treasury bills have maturities extending up to one year.

Analysts say foreign buyers are increasingly reluctant to invest in longer term instruments and Treasury bills may now be easier to sell than bonds.

Foreign investor’s can buy up to 10 percent of the outstanding treasury bill issue, through commercial banks or primary dealers.

The debt office said sales to foreign investors will be within the total treasury bill issue limit set by parliament for 2008.

Foreign investor will have to open a Treasury Bill Investment External Rupee Account – 2 (TIERA-2) in commercial bank which will be free of exchange control.

Updated