A USD 200 million swap and a stake sale in the southern Hambantota port to China will serve as a much wanted boost to Sri Lanka's foreign reserves, the governor of the Central Bank said here today. Indrajith Coomaraswamy said that Sri Lanka was expecting payments from China for the sale of Hambantota port to realise in January, 2017. The first payment of USD 108 million is expected in January, another USD 300 million in March and the balance around June, he said. Sri Lanka has decided to sell an 80 per cent stake in Hambantota port to China for USD 1 billion. The Central Bank is also close to finalizing a USD 200 million swap with China Development Bank. Both inflows will help boost forex reserves, Coomaraswamy said. The announcement came as Sri Lanka's foreign exchange reserves fell to USD 6.1 billion in October. The Sri Lankan rupee suffered over 2 per cent depreciation to the US dollar so far this year, the Central Bank said. The reserves will also be boosted by the International Monetary Fund's approval of a second tranche earlier this month. Last week, the IMF said it was releasing USD 162 million, part of the USD 1.4 billion three-year arrangement approved in June this year.
Chinese inflows to boost Lanka forex reserves
Press Trust of India |