Central Bank clarifies on repurchase agreement with Federal Reserve Bank

27 July 2020 09:51 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • Says it’s a temporary source of US dollar liquidity to be used when required 
  • Points out many central banks do this to meet their short-term dollar liquidity requirements
  • Rubbishes claims that CB pledging US$ 4.5bn worth of US Treasury Securities to obtain US$ 1bn credit facility 

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has recently entered into an agreement with the Federal Reserve Bank, New York (Fed) as a temporary source of US dollar liquidity to be used when required. 


The facility, in technical jargon, is an overnight Repurchase (Repo) facility available for “Foreign and International Monetary Authorities” (FIMA). 


Many central banks in the world have resorted to this facility to meet their short-term US dollar liquidity requirements.


This facility enables a Central Bank to secure short-term funding when needed, without having to make any sudden structural adjustments to its long-term investment portfolios in foreign exchange.


As part of the contingency plans to meet COVID-19 related difficulties, the CBSL has decided to pledge a sum of US$ 1 billion worth US Treasury Bonds held in the CBSL reserve and enter into the above type of Repo facility with the Fed. 


This would permit the CBSL to raiseUS$ 1 billion in cash form when required. 


When this Repo facility is settled by the CBSL, there will be no change in the CBSL reserve position, as the Fed would release the pledged bonds 
back to the CBSL. 


The cost to the CBSL would be the applicable Repo fee, which is about 0.35 percent per annum.


The CBSL has entered into this agreement with the Fed, but no borrowings have been made yet. Withdrawing from the facility at any point is at the 
discretion of the CBSL.


Meanwhile, the CBSL said the statement found widely in media that CBSL is pledging US$ 4.5 billion worth of US Treasury Securities to obtain a credit facility of US$ 1 billion is totally false. 


The CBSL reiterated that this facility is not extraordinary by any means and constitutes an independent financial instrument available for use when required by central banks around the world. 

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