Sri Lanka appoints managers for billion dollar sovereign bond: Finance Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has appointed eight financial institutions to manage a sovereign bond of at least a billion US dollars which may go to the market next month, Finance Minister Ravi Karunayake said.

Sri Lanka may take more than a billion US dollars if the rates are favourable, he told a meeting of Sri Lanka’s Foreign Correspondents Association.

Four investment banks and four non-banks were in the group, he said.

Sri Lanka has reached preliminary agreement with the International Monetary Fund for a 1.5 billion US dollar Extended Fund Facility, which is expected to get the lender’s Board approval in early June.

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran had said earlier that the country would go to the market armed with the IMF deal as rates would be lower.

Conditions in international capital markets have with the US expected to raise interest rates in a June meeting of the Federal Reserve, but Sri Lanka was confident of raising funds Karunayake said.

"There is a lot of money in the Middle and Asian areas," he said.

Sri Lanka would raise more than a billion dollars if rates were favourable, he said.

Sri Lanka is expecting wrap a 500 million US dollar three year syndicated loan with Citi, Emirates NBD, HSBC as early as next week to which Credit Suisse was also joining.

Karunanayake said Sri Lanka was in talks with Credit Suisse to float another 500 million dollar loans and was also eying Sukuk and Panda bond markets.





"We are looking at all options and will be taking the best ones," Karunanayake said.

Sri Lanka has a budget limit of raising 3.5 billion dollars in foreign loans this year. (Colombo/May25/2016)

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