Sri Lanka said to offer new restructuring plan to bondholders

Sri Lanka sent a new restructuring proposal to dollar bondholders through its adviser Lazard as the South Asian nation seeks to complete overhauling its defaulted debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

A counter proposal to a bondholder group’s offer in October for a 20% haircut and the issuance of macro-linked bonds was conveyed through Lazard, the people said, declining to be named because negotiations are private. 
They did not elaborate on the details of the offer. Government representatives may travel to London soon to meet Sri Lanka’s commercial creditors, one of the people said.

Completing the overhaul of Sri Lanka’s $27 billion of foreign debt is critical to ensure financing from the International Monetary Fund bailout keeps flowing. President Ranil Wickremesinghe said this month that authorities expect to complete the restructuring within the first six months of the year.

Calls to Sri Lanka’s treasury secretary, junior finance minister and central bank governor went unanswered. Representatives of the bondholder group and Lazard weren’t immediately available for comment.

The government had already struck restructuring deals with official creditors, including China, India and the Paris Club as well as with holders of its local debt.