ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka Development Bonds, currently a dollar denominated government security, will be issued in more foreign currencies in 2021, while direct bond sales ‘window’ is also planned, Central Bank Governor W D Lakshman said.
“Going forward, the Central Bank will issue fixed rate and multi-currency SLDBs, thereby facilitating the financial sector foreign currency deposit mobilization,” Governor Lakshman said, in a virtual delivery of a monetary policy road map for 2021.
In 2020, some Sri Lanka Development Bonds were sold outside the auctions.
Governor Lakshman said direct sales of Treasury bonds are also being examined.
“The avenues for implementing a new web-based Treasury bill auction system and a direct issuance window for Treasury bonds are currently being explored,” he said.
Sri Lanka in the past had issued Treasury bonds on ‘tap’ at a non-discretionary average yield established at an auction.
A more controversial practice was the sale of bonds to primary dealers near a prevailing secondary market yield which critics said invited corruption.
Sri Lanka has also issued bonds against state bank overdrafts.
In 2020, Sri Lanka had also taken loans from the foreign currency banking units of banks, a practice which was discontinued in favour of Sri Lanka Development Bonds, which had a secondary market.
Sri Lanka will publish an advance calendar of auctions for up to 6 months from the current 3 months. (Colombo/Jan04/2020)