The forex reserves are the lowest since March 2015, when total reserves fell to US$ 6,835 million according to Central Bank data. In April forex reserves recovered, partly helped by a US$400 million swap with the Reserve Bank of India.
Under a central bank swap, the RBI gives dollars to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and receives rupees. The RBI also receives interest from Sri Lanka under the swap agreement. However the dollars have to be returned when the swap expires, or it has to be extended. Economic analysts say like IMF reserves, it is in the nature of a borrowed reserve.
The swap has no domestic monetary effect in Sri Lanka, according to officials.
The proceeds of a US$ 329 million floating rate bond sold by the Treasury in the domestic market (about 43 billion rupees) in the last week of May was due on June 01. In June the Central Bank appeared to have sold down nearly 42 billion rupees of Treasuries held in its stock, sterilizing excess liquidity and locking in the reserves if the dollars were converted.