COLOMBO : Sri Lanka has allocated US$500 million to repay an international sovereign bond maturing on Jan. 18, central bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said in a tweet on Wednesday in an attempt to shore up investor confidence.
"CBSL has allocated the required #Forex for the USD 500 million #ISB that is maturing on 18 Jan 22. It's a shame that some #investors lost out because of organised negative stories spread by certain vested interests," the governor tweeted.
Sri Lanka has to repay about US$4.5 billion in 2022 starting with the US$500 million in January.
The country's reserves had dropped to US$1.6 billion at the end of November, forcing the central bank to draw on a US$1.5 billion yuan swap from China, to lift reserves to US$3.1 billion at the end of December.
Fitch Ratings on Dec. 18 downgraded Sri Lanka's sovereign rating to 'CC' from 'CCC', citing a growing risk of debt default in 2022, despite central bank assurances that steps would be taken to meet all repayments.
(Reporting by Uditha Jayasinghe; Editing by Swati Bhat and Kim Coghill)