Sri Lanka expects IMF to approve $2.9bn programme by year

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Sri Lanka expects IMF to approve $2.9bn programme by year

LONDON Sri Lanka expects the International Monetary Fund to approve a $2.9 billion programme by the end of the year, central bank officials told overseas investors during a virtual presentation on the country's debt restructuring strategy on Friday.

Sources who are participating in the event said that the island nation is promoting the creation of an ad-hoc bilateral creditor coordination platform to obtain assurances from official bilateral creditors.

The move came after the nation of 22 million reached an extended fund facility programme with the International Monetary Fund on September 1.

Sri Lanka needs to renegotiate its debt with bilateral creditors such as China, Japan and India.

This is the first time that the government is formally engaging with private bondholders after deciding earlier this year that it will restructure $13 billion in international sovereign bonds held by private creditors such as BlackRock and Ashmore.

According to the latest IMF report in March, foreign currency debt of $38.7 billion amounts to 48.2 per cent of GDP.