November 22, 2018 / 8:54 AM / 22 days ago

Sri Lanka state banks to borrow up to $1 bln from foreign sources before end 2018

COLOMBO, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka’s three state banks will borrow up to $1 billion from foreign sources before the end of 2018 and use the money to pay off maturing foreign loans, Finance Ministry Secretary S.R. Attygalle said on Thursday.

Sri Lanka, which is currently embroiled in a political crisis following the recent ousting of its prime minister, is scheduled to repay more than $5.8 billion, including $1.54 billion in interest payments, in the next 12 months, the central bank’s latest data showed.

“The state banks will borrow through 1-3 year maturity bonds and money can be used to repay foreign loans next year. We expect there could be a slight increase in borrowing costs due to Moody’s rating downgrade,” Attygalle told Reuters.

Moody’s downgraded Sri Lanka’s credit rating on Tuesday for the first time in eight years, blaming the political crisis for aggravating already problematic finances. (Reporting by Shihar Aneez and Ranga Sirilal Editing by Martin Howell)

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