EONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka expects to raise up to US$2.5 billion in 2018 under its public borrowing program by issuing local and international bonds, a government spokesman said.
Finance & Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera got the approval of the Cabinet of ministers this week for this year’s borrowing program, spokesman and Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekara told a news conference.
The funds are to meet development spending, roll over existing debt and pay interest.
The government’s maximum borrowing limit for 2018 is Rs1,893 billion of which Rs1,313 billion will be obtained from local sources and Rs580 billion from foreign sources, Jayasekera said.
The cabinet approved issuing US$3 billion (about Rs456 billion) worth of Sri Lanka Development Bonds and borrow up to another US$2 billion by issuing International Sovereign Bonds.
The government wants to go early to the market this year with the issue of International Sovereign Bonds and not wait till mid-year like in 2017, central bank deputy governor C P J Siriwardena said Tuesday.
This year, there are no maturing sovereign bonds while about $2.5 billion of SLDBs will mature this year, leaving room to raise another $500 million, he said.
The government has to pay $600 million in interest on dollar bonds this year.
(COLOMBO, January 03, 2018)