Sri Lanka has settled the scheduled debt of USD 01 billion International Sovereign Bond Issue yesterday (July 26), State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal said.
Sri Lanka has transferred funds to repay the $1 billion bond by the Tuesday (July 27) deadline, keeping intact its reputation for honoring debt as concern mounts about the nation’s overseas financing.
The money was transferred Monday, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, the state minister for money and capital markets, told Bloomberg by phone.
Moody’s Investors Service placed Sri Lanka’s ratings under review for a downgrade last week, citing its assessment of the country’s increasingly fragile external liquidity position and the risk of default.
“I have been saying right throughout that we will pay. Unfortunately, some bondholders panicked due to rating actions and analyst reports and sold off at huge discounts,” Cabraal said in a separate interview Sunday. “Those who came last profited most.”
The yield on the 6.25% Sri Lanka dollar bond maturing Tuesday slumped to 500% earlier on Monday, from 628% last week. The yield on the 5.75% 2022 dollar bond rose by 34 basis points to 21.62%, and that on the 6.85% 2024 note fell by 2 basis points to 26.26%.
The payment marks the clearing of only the first test. Two more payments — a $500 million bond and $1 billion of debt — become due next year, with Colombo saying arrangements have been made for the transactions.
Doubts about Sri Lanka’s ability to service debt began growing last year after the International Monetary Fund prematurely ended a $1.5 billion loan facility in the midst of the pandemic. While steps to control the coronavirus’s spread hurt the government’s capacity to generate earnings through sectors such as tourism, a downgrade of the sovereign’s rating deeper into junk hit investors’ confidence.
The island nation has since secured a $1.5 billion currency swap agreement with China, besides negotiating funding lines from its South Asian neighbors India and Bangladesh.
Sri Lanka’s central bank earlier this month said that while the government is expecting some inflows, it will dip into its foreign exchange reserves to bridge any shortfall in repaying the bonds. The stockpile stood at about $4 billion in June, enough to cover about three months of imports.
“Any reserve fall will be temporary,” Cabraal said in a separate phone call late Sunday. “It will be buttressed in a planned manner with non-debt investments, which will not flow out.”
Some $200 million of the payment will return relatively quickly as the central bank will conduct swap transactions with domestic banks that hold about a third of the maturing debt, Cabraal said. He didn’t share further details on the swaps.
State Minister of Money & Capital Market and State Enterprise Reforms posting a tweet, yesterday (July 26), stated that ‘the bond investors who panicked due to rating actions and analyst reports and sold off at huge discounts must be regretting’.
The State Minister had tagged Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service, and the SP Global Market Intelligence in his tweet, along with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL).
Showers or thundershowers will occur at times in Western, Sabaragamuwa and Central provinces and in Galle and Matara districts, says the Department of Meteorology.
Thereby, fairly Heavy showers about 50 mm can be expected at some places.
Several spells of showers will occur in North-Western province.
Fairly strong winds up to (40-50) kmph and gusting up to 60 kmph can be expected in the western slope of central hills, Northern, North-Central and North-Western provinces and in Hambantota and Trincomalee districts.
Showers or thundershowers may occur at several places in the sea areas extending from Colombo to Hambantota via Galle.
Winds will be south-westerly to westerly and wind speed will be (40-50) kmph in the sea areas around the island.
The wind speed can increase up to 60 kmph at times in the sea areas extending from Galle to Pottuvil via Matara and Hambantota and from Puttalam to Kankesanturai via Mannar.
The sea areas extending from Galle to Pottuvil via Matara and Hambantota and in the sea areas extending from Puttalam to Mannar can be rough at times. The other sea areas around the island can be fairly rough at times.
Naval and fishing communities are requested to be vigilant in this regard.
COLOMBO (News 1st); Veteran sports writer Elmo Rodrigopulle passes away on Monday (20) following a brief illness.
He captained St. Benedict’s College in 1960 and then represented the Ceylon Board President’s XI before becoming a journalist. He’s covered cricket in all Test playing nations.
Elmo was in the newspaper world for 52 years – an achievement that will not be equalled or surpassed.
COLOMBO (News 1st); Three of the world’s most valuable and priceless gem stones were moved to a high security vault at the Bank of Ceylon Head Office by the Gem and Jewellery Authority on Monday (19).
This is with the recent decision of the National Gem and Jewelery Authority in Kollupitiya to suspend all activities due to the risk of the building caving in.
However, on the instructions of State Minister of Gem & Jewellery related Industries Lohan Ratwatte, the National Gem and Jewellery Authority is already establishing a gem and jewellery based industry at the State Ministry premises in Narahenpita.
On the instructions of the State Minister of Gem & Jewellery related Industries, a decision was taken to house 03 gems which are said to be the world’s most valuable gems in the safe owned by the Gem and Jewellery Authority until the premises of the State Ministry are prepared.
COLOMBO (News 1st); Protests against the proposed Kothalawala Defence Univeristy Act as well as the forced quarantine of trade union activist continued on Thursday (15).
Activists claimed the KDU Act is presented for the benefit of a selective group.
Watch the video below to find out more.
Former Parliamentarian Duminda Silva who was released from jail recently on a Presidential Pardon met Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in Temple Trees today.
In pics posted on Silva’s Facebook page, it showed him posing for a picture with the Prime Minister, likely after a discussion between the two.
Silva, last month, was released from prison after he was set free on a presidential pardon after he was sentenced to death over the murder of former MP Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra in 2011.
His pardon was heavily condemned on social media and the Bar Association of Sri Lanka had also requested President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to make the public aware whether the due procedure was followed when granting pardon to Duminda Silva. (JAMILA HUSAIN)