Nov 02, 2020

Value of Sri Lanka’s dollar-denominated bonds drop

Sri Lanka’s dollar-denominated bonds have lost more than 35 percent in value in September and October this year, marking two straight months of the biggest losses in the region, according to Bloomberg.

Sri Lanka’s national debt value stands at Rs 13 trillion including Rs 6.4 trillion as foreign debt and 6.6 trillion as domestic debt.The highest percentage of foreign debt is International Sovereign Bonds at 43.2 percent.

The highest percentage of domestic debt is from the Employee Provident Fund (EPF), that belongs to the working people of the country is 35.9%.

The money that has been invested in bonds domestically from the EPF, stands at a staggering Rs. 2.3 trillion.

Many experts raised warnings about the economic situation of the country since October last year.

“…the common man will have to bear the entire burden now of course with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr. W.A. Wijewardena, a former central bank deputy governor said.

He pointed out that the current situation will force Sri Lanka to impose stricter import controls.

Murtaza Jafferjee, the chair of the Advocata Institute, said that reprofiling of debt has to be considered seriously by the country.“…if you don’t do that the burden of the adjustment is more on the domestic economy and it will be left because the longer you postpone it,” he pointed out.

Jafferjee, however, noted that reprofiling is a “selected default” of the debt repayments.

Meanwhile, State Minister of Money & Capital Market and State Enterprise Reforms Ajith Nivard Cabral has said Sri Lanka is justifiably proud of its immaculate debt service record, without a single default.