Foreign Tap

July 18, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state-run People’s Bank has started a new foreign exchange deposit scheme after the island’s central bank relaxed rules allowing domestic banking units to accept deposits from abroad. “The aim here is to open up investment opportunities to non residents interested in investing in Sri Lanka, thereby gaining value for their investment as well as contributing to Sri Lanka’s economic development,” People’s Bank chairman W Karunajeewa said in a statement.

“We want to encourage investors to come to our country by building their confidence through the measures proposed in this scheme, because that in turn will undoubtedly improve domestic investment drives.”

Sri Lankan banks have been allowed to run a separate foreign exchange book earlier, with both deposits and loans matched with foreign currency, with depositors allowed to take money out of the country without exchange control restrictions.

Under the new scheme, deposits could also be opened in Sri Lanka rupees, which is a high yielding currency or in US Dollars, Sterling Pounds, Euros, Australian Dollars, Canadian Dollars, Hong Kong Dollars, Singapore Dollars, Japanese Yen, Swedish Kroner and Swiss Francs with a minimum d