Government issues Sri Lanka Development Bonds (SLDBs) of USD 190.0 million at 6 months LIBOR + 450 bps
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka, on behalf of the Government, offered to issue Sri Lanka Development Bonds (SLDBs) to eligible investor categories for subscription at a rate of US Dollar 6 month LIBOR plus a margin to be determined through competitive bidding. The Bonds on offer amounted to US Dollar 150 million for a 2 year maturity period.
The offer was opened on 06th August 2009 with the settlement on 18th August 2009. The offer was oversubscribed 1.3 times of the offer by both foreign and local commercial banks, with the total bids received amounting to US Dollar 195.5 million. Of such bids, the Government
has decided to accept US Dollar 190 million of 2 year SLDBs at the market determined rate of US Dollar 6 month LIBOR + 449.8 bps (weighted average margin). Today, the US Dollar 6 month LIBOR rate is 0.91 per cent.
This SLDB issue is within the annual borrowing limit approved by Parliament for 2009 and the funds mobilized through the new bond issuance are to be used to settle maturing SLDBs of US Dollar 175 million.
The SLDBs are transferable by endorsement, delivery and registration with the Superintendent of the Public Debt of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Eligible investors may purchase SLDBs from Designated Agents appointed by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in the secondary market.
(CBSL, 11-Aug– 2009)
スリランカ中央銀行は1億9000万のスリランカ開発債（SLDBs）6ヵ月のUSD LIBOR+ 450bpsUSD を発行。入札は2009年8月6日に実施、1.3倍の応札があり、受け渡しは2009年8月18日。(CBSL、2009年8月11日)
Service providers of Payment Cards to be regulated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka
As per the provisions of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act No. 28 of 2005, His Excellency the President has authorized the ‘Service Providers of Payment Cards Regulations No. 01 of 2009’ to be effective from 30th July, 2009. The main objective of these regulations is to ensure that all service providers involved in payment card related transactions comply with the best international standards and practices. These
regulations provide the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), as the regulator of the payment systems, with the necessary authority to regulate and direct service providers of payment card business. The regulations will require all service providers of payment cards to register with the CBSL. In addition, the CBSL will function as the supervisory authority of such service providers, and will issue directions, directives, guidelines, conditions, circulars, rules and instructions to the payment card service providers.
It is expected that these regulations will generate several benefits for service providers of card based payments and the users of such services in particular, and the entire economy as a whole. The supervision by the CBSL would minimize potential losses for service providers and increase the efficiency of their businesses by adapting international best practices in the Sri Lankan context. The intervention of the CBSL as the regulator of payment card service providers would increase public confidence and the security of the services delivered to the end-customers. In addition, the CBSL will monitor all new products relating to the payment card industry before they are introduced to the market to ensure that such products conform to the existing regulations within the country and international best practices so that a secure and efficient service is maintained.
Payment cards, such as credit cards, debit cards and stored value cards, have gained importance in the recent past, due to the growing preference of customers to use such payment instruments for day-to-day transactions, driven by customer convenience and transaction security. Service providers have also been able to market the payment cards by providing more convenient services to their customers using advanced telecommunication
technology. Although the value and the volume of card based transactions are relatively low when compared with those of other payment instruments such as cheques, considering the rapid growth of such card payment instruments and their benefits to the economy,
the Payment Card Regulations have been prepared by the CBSL so as to enhance the level of security and efficiency as a measure to protect customers and to increase public confidence in such payments.
External Sector Performance – June 2009
Earnings from exports reached US dollars 565 million in June 2009, while expenditure on imports amounted to US dollars 832 million, as a result of which, the trade deficit recorded US dollars 267 million a contraction of 50.5 per cent, year-on-year. The cumulative export earnings and import expenditure during the first half of 2009 amounted to US dollars 3,189 million and US dollars 4,437 million respectively, resulting in a trade deficit to US dollars 1,249 million, reflecting a 59.9 per cent contraction as compared to the corresponding period of 2008. Private remittances increased by 5.4 per cent from US dollars 1,505 million recorded during the first half of 2008, to US dollars 1,586 million in the corresponding period of 2009. As a result, remittances during the first half of 2009 were US dollars 337 million (about 27 per cent) in excess of the trade deficit.
The gross official reserves, with and without Asian Clearing Union (ACU) funds, recorded US dollars 1,737 million and US dollars 1,618 million respectively, by end June 2009. These include deposits of US dollars 62 million placed with two domestic banks. Based on the previous 12 month average imports (US dollars 953 million per month), these reserve values are equivalent to 1.8 and 1.7 months of imports, respectively.
However, in view of the current and expected low imports, resulting from the sharp reduction in the oil and petroleum product import bills, the actual equivalent number of months of imports would be much higher.