- Created on Friday, 24 August 2012 10:30
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The Central Bank informed that foreign exchange reserves of Sri Lanka have reached its highest level in almost a year topping the seven billion dollar mark as at end July 2012.
The Bank said that foreign direct investments reached US$ 451.7 million during the first six months of this year, and it was a14.6 percent compared to last year for the same period. It said that remittances from overseas employed Sri Lankans increased by 17.4 percent to US$ 2.9 billion.
According to the Bank, the gross official reserves have amounted to US dollars 6,045 million by end June 2012, while total international reserves, which include gross official reserves and foreign assets of commercial banks amounts to US dollars 7,415 million. In terms of months of imports, gross official reserves are equivalent to 3.5 months of imports by end June 2012 while total reserves are equivalent to 4.3 months of imports.
The Bank also said that in the meantime, with the receipt of the ninth and final tranche of US dollars 414 million under the IMF-Stand-by Arrangement (SBA) facility, proceeds from the fifth international sovereign bond of US dollars 1 billion and other foreign inflows, gross official reserves have risen to around US dollars 7.1 billion by end July 2012.
Providing breakdowns on inflows the Bank said that earnings from tourism in June 2012 increased by 20.6 per cent, year-on-year, to US dollars 63 million, while during the first six months of 2012, earnings from tourism have grown at a robust rate of 24.3 per cent, year-on-year, to US dollars 460 million. The number of tourists visited Sri Lanka totalled 65,245 in June showing an increase of 21.6 per cent. Tourist arrivals during the first six months of 2012 amounted to 452,867.
Remittances from Sri Lankans employed overseas increased by 12.1 per cent, year-on-year, to US dollars 452 million in June 2012, while cumulative inflows of remittances during the first six months of 2012 increased by 17.4 per cent to US dollars 2,942 million.
The Bank said that there were also substantial foreign currency inflows to the capital and financial account of the balance of payments during the first half of 2012. It said that foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows during the first six months amounted to US dollars 452 million, which was an increase by 14.6 percent from a year ago. It said that the BOI is confident that FDI inflows during the year 2012 as a whole would reach the targeted level of US dollars 2 billion. Meanwhile, foreign investments at the Colombo Stock Exchange increased by US dollars 187 million, on a net basis, by end June 2012, which is a 379.6 percent increase compared to the same period last year. (niz)