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Exim Bank may recast $1.3 billion Sri Lanka Loans

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Export financing institution India Exim Bank is looking at restructuring its $ 1.3 billion exposure to crisis-ridden Sri Lanka. It however does not have any exposure to Ukraine or any direct exposure to Russia. Besides, it will foray into services to assist MSME exporters with easier risk protection and is set to launch factoring and other trade finance products to promote exports from this sector.”There is an imminent restructuring of Sri Lanka exposure” said Harsha Bangari, MD India Exim Bank. ” We will wait for the signal from the government any restructuring.” The country facing its worst-ever foreign currency crisis. Exim’s exposure through various channels is at around $1.3 billion. Though there are no over dues as of now, the terms of restructuring could be in the form of deferment of repayment, according to senior Exim officials.Exim is also expected to expand its activities as it is soon set to get back to factoring – a kind comfort letter for exporters’ funding which makes export financing easy and less risky. It is in the process of setting up a factoring business. The focus will be on overseas funding clarified Bangari. ” We have got Board approvals. But we still have to decide whether the business will be through a bank or a subsidiary or a separate entity” Bangari said.

Exim has also initiated Trade Assistance Programme (TAP) to support the MSME Sector. Under this programme, trade lines will be extended to participating overseas banks/institutions in the emerging markets, and credit enhancement to participating commercial banks in India to cover payment obligations on identified banks.TAP would assist banks in India to draw comfort under this programme of India Exim Bank wherein it would extend guarantee/comfort, and thus extend export finance to relatively unfamiliar bank(s) abroad, amongst many others. TAP at its initial stages of operations will be looking at 54 economies across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.Exim reported a 13 percent growth in loans during 2021-22 is looking at raising up to $ 3 billion in foreign currency has targeted even higher growth in business this year. ” Er require servicing of $2.3 billion this year” Bangari said.” Looking at the market conditions we are looking at raising up to $3billion in FY’23” This would include raising through bonds, loans as well as multilateral agencies. (Economic Times)



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Govt. allows private operators to import fuel for industries – minister

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ECONOMYNEXT – The Government has allowed private bunker fuel operators to import fuel for industries, Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said on Friday, in a bid to reduce the burden on cash-strapped state-run fuel retailer Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC).

The move comes as a severe dollar shortage has reduced CPC’s ability to import fuel and meet the demand as earlier amid long motorists’ queues for fuel.

“Approval was given to all the private bunker fuel operators to import and provide diesel and fuel oil requirements of industries to function their Generators and Machinery,” Wijesekera said in his Twitter platform.

“This will ease the burden on CPC and fuel stations providing in bulk. The meeting was held yesterday.”

Approval was given to all the Private Bunker Fuel Operators to Import and provide Diesel and Fuel Oil requirements of Industries to function their Generators and Machinery. This will ease the burden on CPC and Fuel Stations providing in bulk. The meeting was held yesterday. pic.twitter.com/dhAonet10J

— Kanchana Wijesekera (@kanchana_wij) May 27, 2022

In April, Sri Lanka cabinet has agreed to amend the Petroleum Products Act making provisions to issue licenses to “properly identified parties” to import fuel which will end an import monopoly held by the CPC.

There was a push to make the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to import its own oil as the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation was unable to get foreign exchange and the power utility ran out of cash due to lack of a price increases.

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Protesters ask PM to serve justice for May 09 attack

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ECONOMYNEXT – Hundreds of anti-government protesters agitated in front of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesighe ’s office Colombo demanding justice for May 09 attack by the supporters of previous prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and immediate measures to overcome ongoing economic crisis to prevent a looming social unrest.

The youth-led groups which had been protesting near presidential secretariat and prime minister’s official residence in the heart of commercial Colombo shifted neat the prime minister’s office and shouted against the new government’s inaction against the brutal attack at unarmed and peaceful protesters by Rajapaksa supporters on May 09.

They demanded the new Prime Minister Wickremesinghe to implement the rule of law without being biased to any parties and serve the country.

Rukshan, a 25 years old protester said, as per the initial demands of their protests, former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned from his position, but his successor should do his duties towards the country and the people without trying to protect corrupt politicians.

“When we started the protest back in April our main demand was to bring all Rajapaksas before justice and get all the wealth they have stolen from the common people of this country,”  Rukshan told Economy Next.

The protest started around mid-day on Thursday (26) and protesters’ route was blocked by police barricades on the main road in front of the prime minister’s office.

The protesters, however, withdrew from their positions and regrouped at a nearby road to go towards the Wickremesinghe’s office.

However, by the time the protesters regrouped, a court order was issued by the Fort Magistrate to stop the protest due to inconvenience to the public.

“Ranil Wickramasinghe should remember why he is here now. We’re not asking him to resign. He is here to do his duty towards this country and its people,” Rukshan said.

“On May 09, we were attacked but no justice has been served yet. That is the main reason we came today to the prime minister’s office,” he said.

“We still see queues for medicine, fuel, and gas. To be honest, there is no medicine in the market. No medicine for cancer patients. If you get bitten by a dog, then there is no medicine for you. They (the market) don’t have any of that.”

Wickremesinghe has been working over a new budget and discussing with international partners to ensure uninterrupted supply of essentials, officials close to him have said. However, it will take time, they say.

Rukshan said the country is running due to the state workers, who are working as they are being paid salaries after the government’s excess money printing.

“When that stops, then there will definitely be a revolution in this country,” he said.

“When a person goes to office in the morning, there is no fuel for the vehicle, or no public transport available. They get late and the salaries are being cut because of that. And when they come home, they don’t have gas to cook a meal.”

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Weerawansa’s wife gets two years for passport offence

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Her lawyers file appeal challenging sentence

Colombo Chief Magistrate Buddhika Sri Ragala on Friday sentenced Shashi Weerawansa the wife of former minister Wimal Weerawansa to two years in prison. Shashi was found guilty of using falsified documents to obtain a passport.

The Magistrate also ordered the accused to pay a fine of Rs. 100,000 in addition to the imprisonment and an additional six months of jail if she does not pay the fine.

Sashi Weerawansa is found guilty by the court for obtaining diplomatic and general passports by submitting birth certificates with forged names and dates of birth.

She had applied for a diplomatic passport in 2010 by submitting false personal information which was different to what appears in her previous normal passport that expired on May 24, 2009.

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