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Thursday July 18th, 2024

Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa, Indian PM Modi meet ahead of USD 1 bln credit line deal

ECONOMYNEXT – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Sri Lankan Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa on Wednesday (16) as the island nation is in the process to finalise one billion credit line deal with India amid worsening economic crisis.

Sri Lanka is facing an increasing risk of sovereign debt default as it has to pay over 4 billion US dollars for foreign loans in 2022 where as it only had 2.31 billion US dollars in its reserves by end February.

India has agreed to provide 1.9 billion US dollars including 1 billion for imports of essential commodities, 500 million US dollars for fuel import and another 400 million US dollars as a swap.

Sources close to the government said Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa briefed the current economic challenges faced by Sri Lanka and steps it has taken.

The one billion US dollar credit line is expected to be signed during Rajapaksa’s visit, which was postponed twice.

Before meeting Modi, Rajapaksa also met Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shri Harsh V. Shringla. 

Before India granted its financial aids, Sri Lanka had to finalise long dragged deals including oil tanks and power projects in Sri Lanka’s eastern district of Trinc0malee where the one of the World’s best natural harbour is located.

India has strategic interests in the Sri Lanka’s eastern Trincomalee since later 1970s.

Diplomats say Sri Lanka is seen getting close to India and the West because it is facing a financial and debt crisis.

The island nation has been an strong ally of China, its largest lender after the end of a 26-year war in 2009.

Government sources have said Indian has asked Sri Lanka to look into longer term solutions for its debt and economic crisis. This includes seeking the International Monetary Fund assistance for debt restructuring. (Colombo/March 16/2022)

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  1. Marty says:

    Basil is the guy who has absolutely no idea of economics! just make SL more dependent of foreign powers like India, or China or the IWF or IMF….
    to deal with the people’s money is always easy, just promote more unnecessary projects for no ones good, as long the rajapaksas are profiting of it and get more rich!

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  1. Marty says:

    Basil is the guy who has absolutely no idea of economics! just make SL more dependent of foreign powers like India, or China or the IWF or IMF….
    to deal with the people’s money is always easy, just promote more unnecessary projects for no ones good, as long the rajapaksas are profiting of it and get more rich!

Sri Lanka to conduct threat assessments for presidential candidates

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe has submitted a cabinet paper proposing security measures for presidential candidates and former presidents, following the recent attack on former US President Donald Trump during a campaign rally in the USA.

“This proposal suggests the appointment of a committee to conduct threat assessments and provide necessary security for Presidential candidates as well as former Presidents,” a statement from his media division said.

The committee will include the Secretary of the Ministry of Public Security as Chair, the Chief of Defence Staff, the Inspector General of Police, the Chief of National Intelligence, and the Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police/Elections.

A Deputy Inspector General of Police will be appointed to oversee all security arrangements.

The committee and the designated officer will work closely with the Election Commission to ensure seamless coordination of security arrangements, the PMD said.

After today, July 17, Sri Lanka’s Election Committee is empowered to announce a date for the presidential polls due to be held this year.

Minister of Foreign Affairs M U M Ali Sabry has said the election will be held on October 5 or 12.

Members of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) have said that the government should be accountable for the security of Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, the SJB’s presidential candidate. (Colombo/Jul17/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes flat at 303.80/304.00 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed almost flat at 303.80/304.00 to the US dollar on Wednesday, from 303.70/304.00 to the US dollar on Tuesday, dealers said, while bond yields were down.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.60/75 percent, down from 10.82/92 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2027 closed at 11.60/38 percent, down from 11.65/75 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2028 closed at 11.72/78 percent, down from 11.80/90 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 12.05/10 percent, down from 12.05/20 percent. (Colombo/Jul17/2024)

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Sri Lanka stocks close down, John Keells, Hemas, Hayleys push turnover

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed down on Wednesday, data on its site showed.

The broader All Share Index closed down 0.41 percent, or 48.44 points, at 11,830; while the more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed down 0.52 percent, or 17.91 points, at 3,456.

Turnover was 1.2 million. A big part of this (Rs597mn) came from John Keells Holdings Plc (down at 194.25).

“There was foreign buying interest on John Keells and Hemas,” Softlogic Stockbrokers said.

“We saw foreign interest in selective counters persist.”

Hemas Holdings Plc contributed Rs143mn to the turnover, and the share closed down at 81.10.

Hayleys Plc contributed Rs156mn to the turnover, and the share closed up at 101.50.

The three crossings made up 67 percent of the turnover.

The capital goods counters, with all the bluechips, was the leading sector contributing to the day’s turnover.

With the exception of Hayleys and a couple of other companies, the counter saw most stocks close down or flat.

Sentiment around the banking counters also remained negative.

“The volatility in investor sentiments persisted. There are a lot of spectators in the market over the last few weeks, despite some positive news coming in.”

Treasury bill and bond rates have also dropped.

The top contributors to the ASPI were Melstacorp Plc (up at 86.00), SMB Finance Plc (up at 0.70), and TeeJay Lanka Plc (up at 40.00).

There was a net foreign inflow of 392 million. (Colombo/Jul17/2024)

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