Pushing Ahead

“The government is interested in getting one (rating) as it will bring in financial discipline and also be a benchmark for local companies to raise money internationally. With the peace process going on we plan to restart the process this year,” Central Bank Governor A S Jayawardene said.

rnInitially, the Central Bank had planned to go for a sovereign rating by the end of 1997. The process was initiated, but the ongoing war, economic difficulties and political instability forced the bank to shelve plans.

rnSovereign ratings, rate a country
quote s credit risk and serves as a guideline for investors. A rating is also a benchmark for an issuer (government or corporate), to set an interest rate at which to lend money to private issuers. Higher ratings help the issuer to source funds at a cheaper rate.

rnThe absence of a rating has not stopped the government from tapping the international markets. In 1997, the government floated a US$ 50 mn debt issue, to serve as a benchmark for private companies to tap t