China clocks in $ 989 m as SL’s largest lender in 1Q

Tuesday, 2 July 2019 01:42 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • China’s commitments far ahead of development agencies 
  • SL entered into 19 agreements worth $ 2.4 billion in 1Q 
  • Over $ 1 b committed to roads and bridges in 1Q 
  • Total foreign financing disbursements $ 539 m, only $ 4 m grants 


China was the largest lender to Sri Lanka in the first quarter of 2019 with commitments amounting to $ 989 million, far ahead of development agencies such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and others, the latest mid-year fiscal report released by the Finance Ministry said.

The Government has made arrangements to mobilise foreign financing of $ 2,439 million by entering into 19 Agreements with foreign development partners and lending agencies from 1 January to 30 April, to support the public investment program, the Mid-Year Fiscal Position Report released by the Finance Ministry said. 

This mobilisation consists of $ 2,431 million in the form of loans, that is, Official Development Assistance (ODA), and $ 8 million by way of ODA grants and technical assistance.

China led the ODA commitments during this period, amounting to $ 989 million, followed by the World Bank ($ 352 million), Asian Development Bank ($ 310 million), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank ($ 280 million), Japan ($ 270 million), France ($ 85 million), HSBC-Hong Kong ($ 72 million), United Kingdom ($ 64 million), Austria ($ 10 million), Korea ($ 6 million), Food and Agriculture Organisation ($ 0.3 million), and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ($ 0.02 million), respectively.

Of the commitments made in the form of ODA during the first four months of 2019, the highest amount was committed for the roads and bridges sector ($ 1,053 million), while the ground transport sector received commitments of $ 570 million.

In addition to the funds raised from ODA development partners, $ 2,400 million was raised through International Sovereign Bonds (ISB) during the period under review, of which $ 1,000 million was raised at a fixed interest rate of 6.85% with a five-year tenure while the balance $ 1,400 million was raised at a fixed interest rate of 7.85% with a 10-year tenure.

Total foreign financing disbursements made for development projects and programs during the period from 1 January to 30 April amounted to $ 539 million, of which $ 535 million was disbursed as loans while nearly $ 4 million was disbursed by way of grants. The majority of the disbursements were from the loan agreements signed with China, which was almost 40% followed by World Bank (14%), Asian Development Bank (13%), and Japan (12%).

The majority of the disbursements was in lieu of the projects implemented under the roads and bridges sector, accounting for almost 52% followed by the water supply and sanitation sector at 15%, ground transport sector at 6%, and SME sector at 5.5%.


Govt. external debt $ 32.8 b by end-April