Sri Lanka president to hold debt talks on France visit – sources

Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe

Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe. (REUTERS / Dinuka Liyanawatte)

Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe is likely to discuss the crisis-stricken nation’s debt with Paris Club members on the sidelines of a trip to France next week, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

Since defaulting last May on its foreign debt for the first time in history, Sri Lanka has held rounds of talks with bilateral creditors such as China, India and Japan in the effort to resolve its worst financial crisis in decades.

The president begins his visit to France on June 21, two sources from the president’s office told Reuters.

“The president will hold talks with Paris Club members on Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring on the sidelines of the visit,” said one source, who sought anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to media.

The finance ministry and the president’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sri Lanka extends freeze on outward capital transactions by 6 months

Sri Lanka’s government has decided to extend a restriction on outward capital transactions by six months due to pressure on its limited foreign exchange reserves, cabinet spokesperson Bandula Gunawardena said on Tuesday.

The decision will be revisited after debt talks are finalised in September, added Gunawardena, who is also the transport minister of the island country.