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54th SEACEN Governors’ Conference / High-Level Seminar and the 38th Meeting of the SEACEN Board of Governors

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka hosted the 54th SEACEN Governors’ Conference / High-Level Seminar and the 38th Meeting of the SEACEN Board of Governors in Colombo from 29 November to 02 December 2018. These events were attended by Governors and delegates of SEACEN member Central Banks and Monetary Authorities. The Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, attended the Conference as the Keynote Speaker.

The SEACEN Centre plays a leading role in promoting greater understanding in financial, monetary and banking matters in the Asia-Pacific region. Established in 1982, The SEACEN Centre serves central banks and monetary authorities in Asia-Pacific through learning programmes, research work, and networking.

CBSL Disputes the Rating Agencies’ Latest Rating Decisions

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) is of the view that the decisions by Fitch Ratings on 3 December 2018 and Standard and Poor’s (S&P Global Ratings) on 4 December 2018 to downgrade Sri Lanka's Long-Term Rating from ‘B+’ (Stable) to ‘B’ (Stable) are based on uncorroborated facts on the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals.

External Sector Performance - September 2018

Sri Lanka’s external sector came under pressure in September 2018. The widening deficit in the trade account and the strengthening of the US dollar, which resulted in outflows of portfolio investments, adversely impacted the balance of payments during the month. Despite earnings from exports which surpassed US dollars 1 billion for the fourth consecutive month, higher growth in import expenditure outpaced the increase in export earnings. In the financial account, foreign investments in the government securities market recorded outflows responding to the firming up of global financial markets. Meanwhile, the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) also witnessed some outflows of foreign investments during September. Consequently, the Sri Lankan rupee which depreciated against the US dollar by 5.3 per cent in the first eight months of the year, showed a further depreciation of 4.6 per cent in September, reflecting the pressure on the domestic foreign exchange market. These developments necessitated intervention by the Central Bank to curtail excessive volatility in the exchange rate.