Sri Lanka’s balance of payments balloons to US$ 223 mn for the six months ending June 2004

Sri Lanka has reported a bigger than expected balance of payment deficit of US$ 223 mn for the six months ending to June, amid higher world oil prices and a falling rupee, the Central Bank said Monday. Sri Lanka has reported a bigger than expected balance of payment deficit of US$ 223 mn for the six months ending to June, amid higher world oil prices and a falling rupee, the Central Bank said Monday. After earlier indicating a US$ 200 mn year end deficit, the bank says a surplus is possible if privatisation proceeds come through, world oil prices stay under US$ 40 a barrel and program loans come in.

The country posted a US$ 502 mn surplus in 2003 – the highest since 1993 – as a cessation of hostilities led to a bigger inflow of donor aid and foreign exchange remittances.

From Jan-Aug., the rupee has slipped 6.2 percent against the US dollar to 103. 12. “Sharper depreciation during the second quarter of 2004 was mainly resulted by the increased deficit in the balance of payments which rose to US$ 223 mn by end June from the deficit of US$ 40 mn during the first quarter of 2004.”

A third of state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corp.’s assets are up for grabs between two Indian players. The privatizati