Sri Lanka se­cures $1.34bn WB loan

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has se­cured $1.34 bil­lion in loans from the World Bank to boost the cash-strapped is­land’s econ­omy over the next three years, the fi­nance min­istry said yes­ter­day. The loans would be at con­ces­sion­ary rates and re­pay­ments spread out over 15 years, the min­istry said in a state­ment. “This is a great vic­tory for us and it will help us in the fis­cal con­sol­i­da­tion pro­gram that the new govern­ment has started,” Fi­nance Min­is­ter Ravi Karunanayake said. There was no im­me­di­ate com­ment from the World Bank. The new govern­ment, which came to power in Jan­uary last year, also se­cured a $1.5 bil­lion bailout from the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund in June af­ter fac­ing a bal­ance of pay­ments cri­sis. The IMF last month de­scribed Sri Lanka’s per­for­mance since the res­cue as “broadly sat­is­fac­tory”, but said it needed to build its dwin­dling for­eign re­serves. On Wed­nes­day, the ports min­is­ter said talks were un­der way to sell part of Sri Lanka’s loss-mak­ing $1.4 bil­lion har­bour to a Chi­nese com­pany in Jan­uary to help pay off crip­pling debts.

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