AIRLINK 58.23 Decreased By ▼ -0.37 (-0.63%)
BOP 6.24 Increased By ▲ 0.03 (0.48%)
CNERGY 3.97 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-0.5%)
DFML 16.07 Increased By ▲ 0.06 (0.37%)
DGKC 67.61 Increased By ▲ 0.29 (0.43%)
FCCL 17.82 Increased By ▲ 0.27 (1.54%)
FFBL 25.40 Decreased By ▼ -0.49 (-1.89%)
FFL 9.15 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.11%)
GGL 9.79 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (0.2%)
HBL 113.77 Increased By ▲ 1.27 (1.13%)
HUBC 111.61 Decreased By ▼ -3.68 (-3.19%)
HUMNL 6.55 Decreased By ▼ -0.04 (-0.61%)
KEL 4.39 Increased By ▲ 0.17 (4.03%)
KOSM 4.59 Increased By ▲ 1.03 (28.93%)
MLCF 37.73 Increased By ▲ 0.62 (1.67%)
OGDC 125.21 Increased By ▲ 8.81 (7.57%)
PAEL 22.61 Decreased By ▼ -0.10 (-0.44%)
PIAA 11.10 Increased By ▲ 0.31 (2.87%)
PIBTL 6.17 Decreased By ▼ -0.08 (-1.28%)
PPL 109.07 Increased By ▲ 5.07 (4.88%)
PRL 26.84 Increased By ▲ 0.45 (1.71%)
PTC 10.48 Increased By ▲ 0.95 (9.97%)
SEARL 52.85 Increased By ▲ 0.86 (1.65%)
SNGP 66.38 Increased By ▲ 1.26 (1.93%)
SSGC 11.01 Increased By ▲ 0.08 (0.73%)
TELE 7.13 Decreased By ▼ -0.08 (-1.11%)
TPLP 11.93 Decreased By ▼ -0.06 (-0.5%)
TRG 76.07 Decreased By ▼ -0.78 (-1.01%)
UNITY 20.47 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-0.1%)
WTL 1.30 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
BR100 6,426 Increased By 94.3 (1.49%)
BR30 21,976 Increased By 345.9 (1.6%)
KSE100 62,816 Increased By 901.5 (1.46%)
KSE30 21,134 Increased By 282.7 (1.36%)

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s central bank said on Wednesday the country was committed to honouring all forthcoming debt obligations, adding that the island nation was not on the verge of a sovereign default.

Sri Lanka is facing its worst financial crisis in decades, and foreign exchange reserves have fallen to $2.36 billion, according to Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) data released earlier this week.

“The government and the CBSL are committed to honour all forthcoming debt obligations,” the central bank said in a press release.

“The attention of the CBSL has been drawn to certain recent media reports which have claimed that Sri Lanka is at the verge of a sovereign default,” it added. “The CBSL wishes to state that such claims are totally unsubstantiated.”

The shortage of foreign currency is already affecting parts of the economy. At Sri Lanka’s main port in Colombo, around 2,000 containers packed with food, including rice, sugar and lentils, have not been released for several weeks because of a lack of foreign exchange to pay demurrage and other charges, an importers association said.

Merchants pay demurrage for the use of containers within ports beyond a free time period. “We have given the list to the trade minister and recommended that the containers be released as soon as possible,” Nihal Seneviratne, Secretary of the Essential Food Commodities Importers Traders Association, told Reuters.

Seneviratne said an estimated $35 million was required to release the containers, even as food prices on the island steadily rise. Food inflation hit 25% in January, government data showed.

$1 BILLION IN JULY

Sri Lanka has outstanding sovereign bonds amounting to $12.55 billion, with $1 billion of the bonds maturing in July.

Sri Lanka’s trade ministry will hold a meeting with finance ministry representatives on Thursday to iron out payment modalities for the stuck containers, a government official said, declining to be named.

A finance ministry spokesperson did not immediately reply to a request for comment about the central bank’s comments or the meeting. The CBSL has taken measures to secure alternative foreign exchange inflows through bilateral and multilateral funding arrangements with a plan to settle upcoming debt obligations, it said.

Comments

Comments are closed.