Sri Lanka chases better rating ahead of bond sale: report

Apr 27, 2011 (LBO) - Sri Lanka is expecting three rating agencies to visit the island from next month which may lead to a better rating upgrade ahead of a bond sale of at least 500 million dollars for 2011, a media report said. But inflation has picked up since then raising concerns about monetary policy.

Bloomberg said the central bank felt a bond at least 500 million would be useful in 2011. Last October Sri Lanka raised a billion rupees from a sovereign bond.

In September S & P upgraded Sri Lanka's rating by one notch to B+. Fitch lifted its outlook to 'positive' from 'stable'. Moody's last year started rating Sri Lanka with a 'B1' rating.

Sri Lanka's central bank has set up a committee to improve the government's rating to investment grade in the medium term.

Bloomberg newswires said rating agencies, Standard and Poor's, Fitch and Moody's will begin visits from end-May on a request by Sri Lankan authorities.

"We want to convey the message of the improvement in the Sri Lankan economy and our better credit story," Bloomberg quoted deputy governor Dharma Dheerasinghe as saying.

"The review process should lead to a rating outcome."

A division of Sri Lanka's Central Bank raises and manages state debt in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka cut its budget deficit to 7.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2010 with an 8.0 percent economic growth with relatively low inflation.

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