Sri Lanka’s highest ever loan installment due next week: PM

Jan 10, 2019 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s highest ever loan installment of 2.6 billion US dollars is due on Monday in spite of foreign reserves coming down to 6.9 billion dollars, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

Speaking in Parliament, the Premier said that the country will have to pay close to 5.9 billion dollars as interest and principal payment for debt servicing this year.

“So, We expect to receive 500 million dollars under Chinese bonds and Samurai bonds in Japan,” he said.

“We also expect to obtain 1 billion dollars through international financial markets. Our Finance Minister will be attending discussions in Washington next week.”

The Finance Ministry yesterday said that the Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera will leave for Washington on Friday, to get the IMF External Fund Facility back on track.

According to the Central Bank, Sri Lanka has to repay a billion US dollar sovereign bond in January and a 500 million bond in April.

Wickremesinghe, however, said that the Sri Lankan rupee has depreciated against the United States dollar by 3.8 percent during the political crisis that lasted for 51 days.

“Outflows from Treasury Securities were 312.9 million dollars, 29.1 million from Treasury Bills and 29.8 million from Treasury bonds,” he said.

“During the 51 days, our foreign reserves have dropped from 7,991.5 million US dollars to 6,985.4 million dollars. It means a drop of one billion.”

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India has agreed to provide 400 million dollars to the Central Bank under its SAARC SWAP facility.

Central Bank yesterday said that they have also requested a further bilateral SWAP arrangement of 1 billion dollars between the RBI and CBSL which is under consideration.