LONDON/COLOMBO - Sri Lanka will assess a restructuring of its domestic debt next month and expects to finalise it by May, officials from the country's central bank and the Treasury told international creditors during a virtual presentation on Thursday.
The country expects that "exploring options for a domestic debt operation" will help to achieve a much-needed liquidity relief, both from a debt "optimization" of local currency T-Bills and T-Bonds.
Government officials told investors that only T-Bills held by the central bank would be considered for a debt restructuring, while a voluntary domestic debt operation was expected for the holders of T-Bonds. Sri Lanka's total currency debt is equivalent to $36.6 billion, according to the presentation.
Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe and Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardena participated in the presentation, along with representatives of financial and legal advisers Lazard and Clifford Chance.
The 22 million people island nation is struggling with its worst economic crisis in more than seven decades, which has led to shortages of essentials and the ouster of a president.
(Reporting by Jorgelina do Rosario and Uditha Jayasinghe; Editing by Alex Richardson)