Sri Lanka widens currency trading band to secure IMF bailout – South Asia Time

Sri Lanka widens currency trading band to secure IMF bailout

 February 28, 2023  

Bloomberg, Colombo : Sri Lanka allowed its currency to trade in a wider band, stepping up efforts to secure a $2.9 billion International Monetary Fund bailout. The rupee advanced.

The currency was allowed to trade at a maximum of 5 rupees from the middle rate effective Monday, the central bank said on its website. The trading band, which was introduced in May, had been set at 2.6 rupees since October. The currency climbed 1.3 per cent to 359.52 per dollar on Tuesday.

Sri Lanka joins some of the world’s most indebted nations in loosening its grip on the currency in order to unlock financing from the IMF. Pakistan, Egypt and Lebanon were among those that have dropped their exchange rates this year. The IMF funds are crucial for Sri Lanka as dollar shortages have left it unable to pay for imports of medicine and food, with the economy deep in a recession.

The rupee advanced more than 2 per cent this year after sliding 45 per cent in 2022 after the nation defaulted on its sovereign debt. Sri Lanka is in talks with creditors for debt restructuring, another key condition for the IMF to approve a loan to the nation.