Sri Lanka 2015 foreign debt up 228.7 bln rupees on depreciation

COLOMBO, July 7 (Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s foreign debt increased by 228.7 billion rupees ($1.57 billion) last year due to the depreciation of the rupee, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake told parliament on Thursday.

The rupee depreciated 9 percent last year after the central bank allowed it to fall following heavy defence during a previous lower interest rate regime.

Karunanayake, responding to a question raised by the opposition, said as a result of the depreciation of the rupee against the U.S. dollar and other major foreign currencies last year, foreign debt had increased by 228.7 billion rupees.

Sri Lanka’s foreign debt increased by 3.6 percent to $24.6 billion last year despite the new government’s attempts to reduce expensive foreign loans.
 

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