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US wants SL Bondholder lawsuit be put on hold

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The US Government has said a bondholder’s lawsuit filed against Sri Lanka over its historic debt default should be put on hold.

In a statement of interest filed yesterday (2) in New York Federal Court, the US backed the Sri Lankan Government’s request to delay a lawsuit by Hamilton Reserve Bank Ltd. seeking full payment and accrued interest on more than USD 250 million in bonds that came due in July 2022.

The US said the delay would help with ongoing restructuring talks between Sri Lanka and other creditors.

Sri Lanka fell into default in May 2022 after the expiration of a 30-day grace period for missed interest payments on two of its sovereign bonds, the first debt default by the country since it gained independence in 1948. Hamilton Bank sued Sri Lanka in July 2022.

Sri Lanka in July asked US District Judge Denise Cote to put the case on hold for six months. Cote had put her decision on hold until the US decided whether or not to file a statement of interest. 

The French and UK Governments previously asked the court to put the suit on hold.

The two countries said in a Sept. 6 letter that they were writing as members of the Paris Club, an informal group of official creditors that help coordinate repayments for struggling debtor nations.

They said delaying the case was “key to ensuring the success of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) supported assistance programme” for the nation.

Sri Lanka recently announced the completion of its local debt restructuring plan and is now engaging with other holders of Sri Lanka’s foreign debt, including China and India.

Hamilton Reserve has opposed the bid to postpone the proceedings, saying that putting them on hold “would be both contrary to US policy interests and an exercise in futility.”

The case is Hamilton Reserve Bank v. Sri Lanka, 22-cv-5199, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

(Bloomberg)

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Sri Lanka Mirror wishes everyone a happy Sinhala and Tamil New Year!

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The 2024 Sinhala and Tamil New Year dawned at 09.05 pm last night (April 13).

‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ extends heartfelt New Year greetings to all our readers. May this upcoming year be filled with boundless happiness, prosperity, and success for each and everyone of you.

–  Sri Lanka Mirror team

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Derailed train causes delays on coastal line

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A train has derailed at the Kalutara South railway station on Saturday morning (13).

Trains operating on the Coastal Line are thus experiencing delays, Sri Lanka Railways said.

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Kristalina Georgieva to head IMF for a 2nd term

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The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has selected Kristalina Georgieva to serve as IMF Managing Director for a second five-year term starting on October 1, 2024.

The appointment comes ahead of the start of the fund’s spring meetings in Washington next week.

Georgieva, who has been in the role since the autumn of 2019, was the sole candidate for the position. However, it was only after European leaders signalled that they would endorse her last month that her candidacy was assured.

In a statement, the coordinators of the Executive Board, Mr. Afonso S. Bevilaqua and Mr. Abdullah F. BinZarah has said, “Looking ahead, the Board welcomes Ms. Georgieva’s ongoing emphasis on issues of macroeconomic and financial stability, while also ensuring that the Fund continues to adapt and evolve to meet the needs of its entire membership. It recognizes her focus on strengthening the Fund’s support to its members through effective policy advice, capacity development and financing. The Board looks forward to continuing to work closely with the Managing Director.”

“I am deeply grateful for the trust and support of the Fund’s Executive Board, representing our 190 members, and honored to continue to lead the IMF as Managing Director for a second five-year term,” Ms. Georgieva has said.

The Bulgarian national has served as Managing Director since October 1, 2019. The Managing Director is the chief of the IMF’s operating staff and Chair of the Executive Board. The Managing Director is assisted by four Deputy Managing Directors in overseeing the Fund’s operations, which serve its membership through about 3,100 staff.

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