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Saturday April 20th, 2024

IMF allocates new SDR tranche, Sri Lanka to get US$800mn equivalent

ECONOMYNEXT – The International Monetary Fund has allocated 650 billion unconditional special drawing rights to all members which can be counted as foreign reserves in a country and exchanged for usable currencies with Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s quota is 578 million special drawing rights or about 816 million dollars at current rates.

State Minister for Money and Capital Markets said Sri Lanka is getting about 541 million dollars or about 800 million US dollars.

The IMF is also warning members not to use the SDR allocation to delay reforms.

“The allocation is a significant shot in the arm for the world and, if used wisely, a unique opportunity to combat this unprecedented crisis,” Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund said in a statement.

“The SDR allocation will provide additional liquidity to the global economic system – supplementing countries’ foreign exchange reserves and reducing their reliance on more expensive domestic or external debt. Countries can use the space provided by the SDR allocation to support their economies and step up their fight against the crisis.

“SDRs are being distributed to countries in proportion to their quota shares in the IMF.”

Sri Lanka’s quota is 578 million special drawing rights or about 816 million US dollars at current rates.

The SDR is a reserve asset which pays interest but it also has a double entry allocation which is a liability on which interest is paid.

“It is important to recognize that the allocation is not a transfer of wealth,” the IMF said.

“..[T]he allocation of SDRs involves an increase in assets (holdings) and a matching increase in long-term liabilities (allocation), so no transfer of wealth occurs.”

If the SDRs are used (converted to a usable currency) it is similar “to a drawdown of an outstanding credit line that, once used, will affect a member’s debt sustainability.”

The IMF said the quota allocation should not be used to delay economic corrections.

The “allocation should not delay needed macroeconomic adjustments and reforms nor substitute for debt restructuring, if debt is assessed as unsustainable.

The allocation leads to a rise in gross reserves according to IMF data standards and but not net reserves if long term the liability is deducted.

Sri Lanka’s gross official reserves were down to 3.8 billion US dollar by July. Sri Lanka’s has lost reserves steadily due to liquidity injections, which are redeemed against reserves. A central bank is a note-issuing bank which has a monopoly. (Colombo/Aug23/2021)

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Sri Lanka discussing giving extra land, water for Chinese oil refinery

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is in discussions with China’s Sinopec to give extra land and assure water supplies after the company decided to expand the capacity of a planned oil refinery in Hambantota, Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said.

“There are concerns on how the water supply is going to be provided for the refinery,” Minister Wijesekera told reporters Friday.

The refinery will need more land and also revise conditions in a Board of Investment agreement, he said.

Read more
Sinopec to double capacity of new refinery in Sri Lanka’s Hambantota

Recommendations and decisions from Sri Lanka’s side had already been sent and Sinopec is expected to revert back in May.

“We are hoping to sign the agreement once everyone has agreed,” Wijesekara said.

The principle agreements are expected to be signed by June, he said.

The refinery could sell up to 10 percent of its output in the domestic market.

“There is no commitment by the government to purchase anything,” Minister Wijesekera said. (Colombo/Apr19/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes weaker at 302.00/50 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 302.00/50 to the US dollar in the spot forex market on Friday, down from 301.50/302.00 a day earlier, dealers said.

There was increased demand for dollars after the central bank bought 715 million dollars from forex markets. In the previous two months it was buying on average about 200 million US dollars, leaving market participants and bank in a ‘oversold’ position.

There were some official dollars sales Friday dealers said.

READ Sri Lanka rupee quoted wide to US dollar as peg inconsistencies flare up

Bond yields were broadly steady.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 11.30/40 percent down from 11.35/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed at 11.95/12.05 percent up from 11.90/12.05 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2028 closed stable at 12.15/25 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed stable at 12.30/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.10.2032 closed stable at 12.40/50 percent. (Colombo/Apr19/2024)

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Sri Lanka stocks close down, banks trade down

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed down on Friday, data on its site showed.

The broader All Share Index closed down 0.38 percent, or 44.80 points, at 11,753; while the S&P SL20 Index closed down 0.53 percent, or 18.46 points, at 3,456.

Turnover was at 1.4 billion. The diversified financials (Rs366mn) and banks (Rs266mn) sectors continued to see selling pressure.

“This was possibly due to uncertainty around the bond discussions,” market participants said.

With the exception of Sampath Bank Plc (up at 77.50) all other banks traded down in the day. Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc was down at 104.50, Hatton National Bank Plc was down at 188.50, and DFCC Bank Plc was down at 77.00.

LOLC Finance Plc saw the most trades and closed up at 6.40. Another LOLC company, Browns Investments Plc, also saw high traded volumes and closed up at 5.60.

Softlogic Capital Plc was up at 7.00, and Softlogic Holdings Plc was up at 11.20. A trading suspension imposed on SHL.N0000 was lifted effective today as the company submitted the annual report for the year ended 31st March 2023.

However, shares of the Company will remain in the Watch List “due to Qualified Audit Opinion and Emphasis of matter on going concern in the Independent Auditor’s Report in the Audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31st March 2022.”

Dialog Axiata Plc, which announced its merger with Bharti Airtel Thursday, saw its share price close up at 11.90.

“There was some traction on index heavyweights,” market participants pointed out.

Top contributors to the APSI included Aitken Spence Plc (up at 134.50), Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc (up at 1,245.25, and Lion Brewery (Ceylon) Plc (up at 1,048.50).

There was a net foreign inflow of 5 million. (Colombo/Apr19/2024)

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