Bondholders fear regime change impact
Posted on April 20th, 2024

By KELUM BANDARA Courtesy The Daily Mirror

Colombo, April 20 (Daily Mirror) – The representatives of bondholders who hold around 50 per cent of Sri Lanka’s outstanding international sovereign bonds (ISB), during closed-door interactions with the representatives of Sri Lankan political parties, have expressed fear whether any debt restructuring agreement will be honoured in case of a regime change at the elections pending this year, Daily Mirror learns.

The bondholders held talks with various political leaders including from the opposition parties such as the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), the National People’s Power (NPP) and the United Republican Front (URF) led by MP Patali Champika Ranawaka during the New Year holiday period.

During talks with the NPP, the party has assured that the programme with the IMF (International Monetary Fund) will not be derailed.  Currently, the Sri Lankan government has concluded the initial restricted discussions with nine members of the Steering Committee of the Ad Hoc Group of Bondholders over a span of three weeks. Sri Lanka was joined by its legal and financial advisors Clif­ford Chance and Lazard, respectively, while the restricted members of the Steering Committee were joined by the

Group’s legal and financial advisors, White & Case and Rothschild & Co., respectively.

The Steering Committee as a whole comprises ten of the largest members of the Group, with the Group controlling approximately 50% of the aggregate outstanding amount of ISBS.

Earlier, the Finance Ministry said in a statement that the parties failed to come to an agreement on restructuring terms, despite the constructive discussions.

During this period, Sri Lanka, the Steering Committee and its advisors met during a two-day working session in London on 27 and 28 March to discuss the Group’s latest debt treatment proposal. Prior to the meetings, March 15 Sri Lanka had also sent its own debt treatment proposal to the Group’s advisors which was rejected by the Steering Committee.

Also, Sri Lanka rejected last week international bondholders’ proposal to restructure more than $12 billion in debt, putting at risk critical International Monetary Fund support and delaying its efforts to resolve a two-year-long debt crisis.

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