US$ 1 billion to be raised from bond issues
SRI LANKA plans to raise one billion dollars through bonds issued to
international investors this year to pay for key infrastructure
projects, Treasury Secretary P. B. Jayasundera said yesterday.
The first tranche of the issue could be out as early as next month.
The Government plans to build roads, power and railroads spending
nearly 1.5 billion dollars, Jayasundera said.
"We will issue between 500 million to a billion dollars worth of
bonds in the international market this year," he said addressing a
meeting of business leaders.
The Central Bank is talking to local commercial banks on structuring
the issue. Bankers close to the deal have suggested that the Government
start off with a 100-million dollar issue, test the market and then go
for a higher issue.
Citibank N.A. last month helped Sri Lanka raise 100 million dollars
through a syndicated loan, which was priced at 95 basis points above the
London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR.
Bankers close to the issue said the Citibank deal had been the most
attractive for the Government so far. Jayasundera is keen to issue lower
denominations to encourage overseas resident Sri Lankans to subscribe to
the bond issue. - AFP