Amid debt negotiations, Sri Lanka holds its first in-person meeting with bondholders

Three sources with direct knowledge of the meeting said that Sri Lanka’s government representatives from the finance ministry and the central bank met with the nation’s largest foreign holders of sovereign bonds on Thursday in Washington.

The meeting was held in the midst of negotiations to restructure $13 billion in debt on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. According to the sources, some private creditors virtually participated in the meeting as well.

The steering committee for the creditor group includes representatives from Amundi Asset Management, BlackRock, HBK Capital Management, and T. Rowe Price Associates Inc.

Two of the individuals, who requested anonymity because the discussions are private, claimed that the Sri Lankan government did not present any proposals regarding how a debt restructuring would take place.

“We are still in the early stages, but it was a good exchange,” one source said, adding that creditors pressed the Sri Lankan government to give them real-time updates on the country’s debt-sustainability analysis.

The meeting was presided over by the Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe, the Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardena, and representatives of Lazard and Clifford Chance, according to the sources.


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