Sri Lanka sovereign rating may be raised: report

July 03, 2010 (LBO) – Standard & Poor’s may upgrade Sri Lanka’s credit when it next reviews the island’s sovereign rating with the resumption of an International Monetary Fund loan and strong foreign reserves, a media report said.

“The new budget and continued IMF program are positives,” Benard said. “Still, to have effect on the rating, executing the program is key.”

The IMF extended the deal by a year and also took off a ceiling on foreign borrowings placed on the island.

Sri Lanka is expected to choose a rating advisor from among six international investment banks next month, ahead of a sovereign bond sale in the second half of the year. Each bond is rated.

Sri Lanka’s central bank governor Nivard Cabraal has appointed a committee to look into ways to raise the country’s rating to investment grade, or BBB-.

Sri Lanka has sold two sovereign bonds of 500 million US dollars each but the size of this year’s sale has not been announced yet.

Sri Lanka is rated ‘B’ by Standard & Poor’s and ‘B+’ by Fitch Ratings. The ratings were downgraded during the height of a war with Tamil Tiger separatists and a balance of payments crisis in early 2009 which ended with an IMF bailout.

After the bailout S &