Published on The Morning
In November 2021 the foreign reserve position of Sri Lanka fell to a 12-year low of $ 1.6 billion, which Verité Research in a humorous social media post pointed out was marginally higher than the global Box Office revenue of Spider-Man: No Way Home during its first 26 days.
According to Verité Research, the global Box Office revenue of Spider-Man: No Way Home, as of 26 days since its release, stands at $ 1.54 billion which is merely $ 0.05 billion or $ 50 million behind Sri Lanka’s foreign assets as of end-November 2021.
However, since then, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has managed to increase its foreign reserve to $ 3.1 billion as of end-December 2021 by drawing the ¥ 10 billion (equivalent to $ 1.5 billion) currency swap obtained from the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) in March 2021.
Furthermore, the country’s liquid foreign exchange reserve has risen to $ 2.8 billion in December 2021 from $ 1.0 billion in November 2021 after the CBSL sold $ 206.8 million of its gold reserves. Consequently, gold reserves fell to $ 175.4 million in December 2021, from $ 382.2 million in November 2021.
Furthermore, following the recent arrival of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Sri Lanka was granted a $ 125 million grant for economic corporations to be used for food, medicine, and infrastructure, claimed Ministry of Finance and Treasury Secretary S.R. Attygalle to The Morning Business yesterday (11).
It was further disclosed to us by a source within the CBSL that discussions relating to the $ 1.9 billion financial assistance from India have reached the final stages.
This expected financial assistance from India will take the form of a $ 400 million currency swap to help Sri Lanka address the existing balance of payment (BOP) issues; a $ 1 billion line of credit to cover the import of food, medicines, and other essential items from India to Sri Lanka; and a $ 500 million line of credit to cover import of fuel from India.