Sri Lanka treasuries up 100 basis points

Minister appoints Dr Swaminathan to IPACSL as Chairperson

Nov 28, 2007 (LBO) – One year treasury yields went up 100 basis points to 19.07 percent as the central bank stayed out of the primary market and allowed rates to go towards levels needed to bridge the budget deficit. The monetary authority has been struggling to contain inflation which was running at 19.6 percent in October after it printed 45.2 billion rupees in five months to bridge an expanding budget deficit.

The benchmark 3-month yields went up 100 basis points to 17.07 percent while six months yields also went up 100 basis points to 18.79 percent, the government’s debt office said.

The Central Bank has said it is raising its discount rate to 19.00 percent from December after limiting access to an existing 12.00 percent window to four times a month.

The low discount rate, which was below inflation, as well as central bank interventions in primary markets to keep treasuries yields low amidst amid expansionary fiscal policy was widely blamed for accelerating inflation.

A 5-year bond maturing in 2012 popular among foreign names was traded early on Wednesday at 17.50 percent dealers said, with volumes of around 500 million.

About 1.5 billion rupees of the bond had traded on Monday in a foreign to foreign deal.

The bond was quoted at 17.50/45 percent after the Treasury bill auction.

Interest rates plummeted after a 500 million dollar sovereign bond which brought 56 billion rupees to the island in late October was used to repay short term loans.

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