Wide Berth

January 2, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Central Bank has lifted the minimum capital requirements of money changers by fivefold to 600,000 dollars with immediate effect, the bank’s governor said Tuesday.

In July 2005, the bank raised the minimum capital limit by 900 percent to 120,000 dollars and allowed around 60 registered money changers to open branches.

Governor Nivard Cabraal, however, did not specify the time period given to dealers to top up their capital.

“With these changes, we are also allowing money changers to encash Travellers’ cheques as well,” Cabraal told businessmen.

Unlike money changers, banks charge a fee to encash travellers’ cheques, and Cabraal hopes the move will infuse competition among foreign exchange dealers.