Sri Lanka debt to GDP ratio falls to 78-pct: CB Governor

Jan 03, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s debt to GDP ratio had fallen to 78 percent by end-2011 from 82 percent in 2010, Central Bank governor Nivard Cabraal said. The island’s foreign exchange reserves had fallen to 6.0 billion US dollars by the end of 2011 enough to cover 4.0 months of imports and higher than the 3.5 months targeted in IMF programme, he said.

The International Monetary Fund has so far given Sri Lanka 1.7 billion US dollars under its programme, Cabraal said at the launch of the central bank’s monetary policy road map for 2012.

Cabraal said foreign exchange reserves are built up by central banks to be used when needed.

The central bank in recent months has been selling dollars to maintain the rupee’s peg with the US dollar.

However, the exchange rate remains under pressure despite a three percent devaluation of the rupee against the dollar in November 2011.