Sri Lanka records strong tourist, remittance earnings

Last Updated: Wed, Oct 23, 2013 12:50 hrs

Colombo, Oct 23 (IANS) Strong tourist and remittance earnings have bolstered Sri Lanka's foreign inflows, the Central Bank said here Wednesday.

The Central Bank said in its latest report that earnings on account of workers' remittances rose by 16.3 percent, year-on-year, to $570 million in August 2013 from $490.1 million in August 2012, Xinhua reported.

For the first eight months of 2013, cumulative inflows from workers' remittances stood at $4.3 billion, a growth of 10.9 percent compared to the corresponding period of 2012.

"Earnings from tourism increased by 43.4 percent year-on-year, to $98.7 million in September 2013. Cumulative earnings from tourism during the first nine months of 2013 recorded a growth of 24.2 percent to $883.1 million from $711.1 million during the corresponding period in 2012," the report noted.

Cumulative net foreign inflows to the government securities market amounted to $484.9 million at the end of September 2013, while the outstanding foreign holdings of treasury bills and bonds remained at $3.6 billion.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows amounted to $540.2 million during the first half of 2013, an increase of 20 percent, compared to the first half of 2012.

Furthermore, inflows to commercial banks during the first eight months of the year amounted to $664 million.

Sri Lanka's gross official reserves amounted to $6.3 billion by end August 2013 while total international reserves, including foreign reserves of commercial banks, stood at $7.5 billion, the Central Bank added.

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