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Tuesday September 26th, 2023

Sri Lanka foreign reserves reach US$3.1bn by Dec 29: CB Governor

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves had reached 3.1 billion US dollars by December 29, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said in a message.

Official foreign reserves had dropped to 1587 million US dollars in November, amid continued liquidity injections mainly made to sterilize interventions.

“In keeping with our previous announcements, the official #reserve position of the @CBSL
has today reached appox USD 3.1 billion and will remain around that level by end 2021 as well,” Governor Cabraal said.

Sri Lanka’s imports are now around 1.6 billion US dollars a month.

The expansion of the central bank’s domestic assets (printing money) which intensified in February 2020 had led to reserves falling from around 7.5 billion US dollar in January 2020.

Sri Lanka has lost 5.5 billion US dollars of reserves after printing 1.5 trillion rupees over the past two years, while an expansion of reserve money and inflation has absorbed the rest.


Sri Lanka BOP deficit rises US$3.2bn in October 2021 in new record

In a separate statement, the central bank said more money would have come if not for downgrades.

“Such rating actions also weighed negatively on investor confidence, resulting in undue delays in certain expected foreign currency inflows which may have materialised earlier, if not for such unwarranted and questionable rating actions,” the statement said.

The full statement is reproduced below:

Realisation of Expected Foreign Currency Inflows and the Official Reserves Position

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka wishes to inform the general public that (as announced on 22 December 2021) expected foreign currency inflows are forthcoming and with the receipt of recent inflows, the official reserves position has now reached around US dollars 3.1 billion, and is expected to remain at such level by end of 2021, as well. In addition, as articulated in the Six-Month Road Map for Ensuring Macroeconomic and Financial System Stability, foreign currency inflows in connection with several other facilities that are under negotiation at present, are expected to be realised in the early part of January 2022.

The measures taken by the Central Bank with a view to improve foreign exchange liquidity in the domestic market, such as introduction of incentive schemes for workers’ remittances, and the rules covering the repatriation and conversion of exports proceeds are also augmenting official reserves. The welcome robust recovery in the tourism sector and the strong performance in exports are further buttressing the external sector. Accordingly, the Government and the Central Bank are confident that the reserve position will remain at comfortable levels throughout the year 2022.

In this background, it is unfortunate that the hasty and inexplicable decisions of certain rating agencies to downgrade the Sovereign, even in the face of clear reassurances of impending forex inflows had caused unnecessary losses in the secondary market to investors in International Sovereign Bonds issued by the Government of Sri Lanka. Such rating actions also weighed negatively on investor confidence, resulting in undue delays in certain expected foreign currency inflows which may have materialised earlier, if not for such unwarranted and questionable rating actions.


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Sri Lanka cabinet okays appropriation bill for 2024 budget

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers had approved a draft Appropriation Act for 2024, the state information office said.

The Finance Minister’s proposal to gazette the bill and table it in parliament was approved by the cabinet.

Presenting the appropriation bill is the first stage of presenting a budget for 2024,

The appropriation bills set outs the expenditure plans for each ministry.

The budget proposals, made in November is called the second reading of the Appropriation Act. (Colombo/Sept24/2023)

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Sri Lanka’s MEPA to get 28.5 mn rupees from Singaporean AEPW, for beach clean up

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) is to receive 5.7 million rupees a year, for five years, from Singapore-based marine waste solutions provider, Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), to maintain 8 beach cleaner machines.

The donation is meant to support MEPA clean coastal areas across Sri Lanka, using BeachTech Hydro Sweepy beach cleaner machines, previously donated by the organisation.

The oil industry-founded non-governmental organisation donated the 8 beach cleaners worth about US$180,000 to MEPA in the wake of the 2021 MV X-press Pearl ship disaster.

The machines manufactured by Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG, a German company, are effective at cleaning up plastic nurdles and other types of potentially harmful non-biodegradable waste, minimising human contact with hazardous materials.

As a significant amount of money is spent for the deployment of these machines for beach cleaning activities, the Alliance to End Plastic Waste has agreed to provide the funds for the upkeep of the machines for a period of five years.

With this financial donation, the Maritime Environment Protection Authority will be able to continue using these machines without interruption to clean identified beaches in the future. (Colombo/Sep26/2023)

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Sri Lanka’s SEC makes four new appointments

ECONOMYNEXT – The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) made four new additions from diverse backgrounds to its leadership.

These appointments are expected to increase the effectiveness of the SEC secretariat in the respective operating areas, the SEC said.

Manuri Weerasinghe, with over 20 years of experience in accounting, financial management, financial reporting and auditing, was appointed Director, Corporate Affairs.

She is a Fellow Member of CA Sri Lanka, member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and a member of the Certified Practicing Accountants of Australia.

Her academic credentials include a Master of Business Administration and a BSc (Hons) in Accountancy and Financial Management (Special).

Prior to joining the SEC, she served in several financial management positions in Bermuda and Sweden.

Madura P R Wanigasekara was appointed Chief Digital Officer. He has over 20 years delivering and managing IT solutions, and has held several senior management positions in the public and private sectors.

His academic qualifications include a Master of Science in Information Technology from the University of Colombo and a Bachelor of Information Technology from the Curtin University of Technology.

He is also a member of the Australian Computer Society (ACS).

Sharmila Panditaratne was appointed Assistant Director, Legal and Enforcement.

She is an Attorney-at-Law with over 21 years of experience as a securities market regulator.

She holds a Master of Laws degree from the University of Houston, Texas and has worked at two law firms in the USA prior to joining the SEC.

Riyaz Bary, Deputy Solicitor General at the Attorney General’s Department was appointed a Director on secondment basis. (Colombo/Sep26/2023)

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