Trading Bonds

ldblquote To minimize the overdraft we are hoping to securities the debt on a piecemeal basis,
dblquote Superintendent Public Debt, Dharma Dheerasinghe told Lanka Business Online.

rnrnThe bank is looking at issuing tradable bonds carrying tenures ranging from three to four year maturities.

rnThe Central Bank also plans to deposit cash in the overdraft accounts of Peoples
quote Bank and Bank of Ceylon, in instances where the cash position exceeds the government
quote s immediate requirements, he said.

rnldblquote We can also give excess cash by issuing government debt,
dblquote he adding that it was cheaper to issue treasury securities rather than pay the overdraft.

rnBut debt traders say the government
quote s 8.5 percent budget deficit will have to improve considerably if it plans to pay off the overdraft.

rnThe government is yet to unveil its detailed borrowing programme for this year, despite raising the treasury bill limit from Rs. 175 bn to Rs. 250 bn.

rnThe Central Bank is also keeping a tight grip on interest rates, despite hefty public borrowing. With interest rates gradually easing to 13.5 percent, the bank last week issued a four-year bond after a lapse off 22 months.rn