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SL requests $ 250 million swap from Bangladesh

a year ago

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Sri Lanka has made a request for the provision of a $ 250 million swap facility from Bangladesh to boost its foreign reserves, The Morning learns. Government sources confirmed that the request had been made on the sidelines of the 18th Ministerial Meeting of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Co-operation (BIMSTEC) which commenced yesterday (29) in Colombo, and that Bangladesh is considering the request. Participating in the meeting were the Foreign Ministers of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Thailand, who were physically present, as well as the Foreign Minister of Myanmar, who participated virtually, while the Sri Lankan delegation was led by State Minister of Regional Co-operation Tharaka Balasooriya, and included Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris. Last year, Sri Lanka entered into a similar arrangement with Bangladesh for the provision of a $ 200 million currency swap facility. More recently, Sri Lanka received a $ 1 billion credit line from India, which was inked during Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s visit to New Delhi earlier this month, while media reports quoted sources as saying that Sri Lanka was seeking an additional $ 1 billion in credit from the country. Sri Lanka is facing a severe shortage of foreign reserves, which has resulted in challenges in paying for the import of several essential items, including fuel, gas, and food items, over the past few months. The country has to repay about $ 4 billion in debt repayments this year, including a $ 1 billion international sovereign bond (ISB) maturing in July.

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