Sri Lanka in talks for USS500mn loan with Credit Suisse; Sukuk eyed

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is in talks with Credit Suisse, an investment bank, to float a 500 million dollar loan after a similar sized loan with multiple banks are finalized shortly, Finance Minister Ravi Karunayake said.

Credit Suisse, which had joined a 500 million dollars loan syndicated by Citi, Emirates NBD, HSBC and Mashreq Bank, has indicated that they can raise another 500 million dollars on their own, he told Sri Lanka’s Foreign Correspondent’s Association.

Sri Lanka is also looking at a 500 to 1,000 million US dollar Sukuk bond issued and was also in talks with a Japanese bank for further funding, he said. Sri Lanka was also looking at a ‘Panda’ or Renminbi denominated bond.

"We are lookign at all options and will be taking the best ones," Karunanayake 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 is also expecting to sell a 1000 to 1,500 million dollar sovereign bond shortly.

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