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* Sri Lanka Central Bank further relaxes Foreign Exchange Regulations
Wed, May 28, 2014, 11:23 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 28, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Central Bank Wednesday said that it will implement a series of measures to further relax Foreign Exchange Regulations from today, May 28th.

The Bank said in a statement released today, that it has taken the decision to further liberalize several Exchange Control Regulations further in view of the improved macroeconomic environment, greater stability in the external sector as well as the development of a more effective and comprehensive regulatory and surveillance framework.

Under the new relaxed regulations foreign investors will be allowed to invest in non-listed debentures, in addition to listed debentures, through the Securities Investment Account (SIA).

Widening the eligibility to obtain an Electronic Fund Transfer Card (EFTC) the holders of Migrant Blocked Accounts, SIA, and Diplomatic Accounts etc. will be allowed to obtain debit cards.

Also a general permission will be granted to Licensed Commercial Banks (LCBs) to issue travel cards to their customers.

Foreign Exchange Earners' Account (FEEA) holders will be allowed to make payments relating to foreign contracts out of the existing funds in the FEEA, while LCBs will be allowed to provide loans in foreign currency to FEEA holders.

Further, eased regulations will remove the minimum balance requirement for Special Foreign Investment Deposit Account (SFIDA).

The LCBs are given permission to facilitate transactions of students, who want to go for studies abroad, to open accounts with a foreign bank. The payments also could be remitted through a Resident Foreign Currency Account, a Resident Non National Foreign Currency Account, or a Foreign Currency Account for International Services Providers and their Employees (FCAISPE).

The time restriction that was prevalent on suppliers credit for importers and the prevailing restriction on extending a Letter of Credit (LC) will also be removed.

The Central Bank expects the new measures to further enhance the external competitiveness of Sri Lanka in the global market.

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