Despite $ 2.5 b outflows reserves a strong $ 8.8 b
Balance of Payments surplus at $ 2 b up from $ 585 m a year ago
The Central Bank on Friday said that notwithstanding outflows on account of foreign debt service payments amounting to $ 1,886 million and IMF-SBA payments amounting to $ 594 million, Sri Lanka’s gross official reserves continued to remain high at $ 8.8 billion as of end September 2014.
Total foreign assets, which include foreign assets of the banking sector, amounted to $ 10.2 billion. In terms of months of imports, gross official reserves were equivalent to 5.6 months of imports as at end September 2014, while total foreign assets were equivalent to 6.5 months of imports.
The Central Bank also said that with continuous inflows to current and capital accounts, the overall balance of the BOP is estimated to have recorded a surplus of $ 1,996 million during the first nine months of 2014, compared to a surplus of $ 585 million in the corresponding period of 2013.
It said for the first nine months of 2014, long-term loans obtained by the Government amounted to $ 1,232 million, which is a decrease of 5.7% from the comparable period in 2013.
Net inflows to the Government securities market from January to end September 2014 amounted to $ 100 million, despite some outflows recorded in foreign investment in Government securities during August and September.
Meanwhile, foreign investments in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) recorded a net outflow of $ 9.5 million in September 2014, although, on a cumulative basis, foreign investment in the CSE stood at $ 107 million by the end of October 2014.
Furthermore, inflows to Licensed Commercial Banks (LCBs) and Licensed Specialised Banks (LSBs) during the first nine months of 2014 amounted to $ 450 million. This includes a major inflow of $ 250 million received through the international bond issuance by National Savings Bank during September 2014.