Sri Lanka will receive the first tranche of about US$330 million (about RM1.5 billion) from the International Monetary Fund in the next two days, and, going forward, disbursements would be tied to reviews that take place every six months, an IMF official said on Tuesday.
The IMF on Monday said its executive board approved a nearly US$3 billion bailout for Sri Lanka, and the country's presidency said the program will enable it to access up to US$7 billion in overall funding.
Economic mismanagement coupled with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic left Sri Lanka severely short of dollars for essential imports at the start of last year, tipping the country into its worst financial crisis in seven decades.
Peter Breuer, Senior Mission Chief for Sri Lanka, Asia and Pacific Department at IMF, said debt sustainability is one of the key criteria for the IMF to approve a bailout for any economy, and though debt in Sri Lanka is not yet sustainable, it is expected to be on a forward-looking basis.
International dollar bonds issued by the country soared following the IMF package approval. Bonds were up by 0.69 cents to 1.50 cents across tenors, with the March 2029 bond leading the gains.