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Sri Lanka to repay high interest loans with Hambantota cash: FinMin

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka plans to settle high interest loans taken by the state from sale proceeds of Hambantota Port, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said.

"We will settle high interest loans first," Karunanayake said. "Some loans were taken at low rates of 2.0 percent."

Sri Lanka has taken a preferential buyers credit loan of $600 million for 13 years, $147 million for 12 years and $157 million for 12 years from the Exim Bank of China. Another $307 million buyer’s credit loan was taken for 6.0 percent.

Another $65 million 65 percent loan for 8 years from Exim Bank remains to be disbursed, according to finance ministry data. Total loans were $1,303 million.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority has taken a $21 million loan from state-run Bank of Ceylon for 8 years.
In 2016, Hambantota Port was estimated to have lost Rs9,629 million, with operational costs of Rs2,497 million.

The interest cost was Rs4,724 million and capital repayment was Rs4,424 million. (Colombo/Jan06/2017)

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