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Raising Dollars

The Central Bank will tap the Monetary Board next Tuesday to approve plans to raise US$ 350 mn in debt.
A senior Central Bank official said Tuesday 12 international investment banks and international debt arrangers had earlier made some 40 proposals on how best to structure the issue. rn

rnThe Central Bank has the option of raising the monies through a mix of a syndicated loan and floating rate notes. While the exact structure of the debt paper is yet to be resolved, the issue is likely to carry tenures ranging from three to five years.rn

rnFirms in the running to place the paper include, HSBC, Solomon Smith Barney through their local representatives Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Standard Chartered Bank, Credit Suisse First Boston, Deutsche Bank and Nomura Securities. rn

rnThe issue will not carry a credit rating.rn

rnDespite the government expressing a keen interest to seek a sovereign rating, the decision was deferred on a request by the Central Bank. The bank felt the country stood a better chance of securing a firmer grade as the ongoing peace process gathers speed. rn

rnFitch Ratings has said Sri Lanka could get a below investment grade rating between B+ and BB+, on similar lines as India. rn

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