COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s official reserves dropped 567.5 million US dollars to 5.45 billion dollars in January, down from 6.01 billion dollars at the end of December, official Central Bank data showed. Foreign currency reserves were 4.52 billion US dollars and reserves in Gold were 0.86 billion US dollars. The Central Bank’s Treasury bill holdings were down from 331.39 billion rupees in December to 250.65 billion rupees in January. Central Bank has purchased 179.31 million dollars of foreign exchange from commercial banks at market rates in January while selling 71.73 million dollars in the month.
The Central Bank said recently it expects foreign reserves to pick up this year with FDI, especially from China, along with a planned syndicated loan and sovereign bond borrowings this year. During the year up to 09 February 2017, the Sri Lanka rupee depreciated against the US dollar by 0.6 percent. Given the cross currency exchange rate movements, the Sri Lanka rupee depreciated against the sterling pound by 2.3 percent, euro by 2.0 percent, Japanese yen by 4.2 percent and Indian rupee by 1.9 percent during this period. China, India, UK, Germany and France were the top five sources of tourist arrivals, accounting for 48.1 percent of total tourist arrivals in the month of January 2017.