July 26, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has relaxed foreign currency transactions in the country by allowing money changers to sell as well as buy forex and also relaxed rules on operating non-resident foreign currency accounts. The Central Bank, which regulates the industry, said in a public notice that nine money changers out of 62 authorized licensees have been allowed to sell foreign exchange up to 1000 dollars per customer from this month.
Money changers, usually operating from a small office, are open after banking hours and they also have low overheads allowing them to give competitive rates to people travelling abroad.
They were earlier required to buy foreign currency from tourists and those returning from abroad and deposit them in a commercial bank instead of selling back to customers. But the rule was widely flouted.
City Exchange, Crown Money Exchange, Devi Forex, Prasanna Money Exchange, Shifaz Money Exchange of Colombo 01, Devi Forex of Colombo 11, Thomas Cook (India) Limited of Katunayake and Montecarlo Exchange of Colombo 11 has been allowed to sell foreign exchange to those travelling abroad.
The Central Bank recently asked money changers to beef up their capital.
In another developmen