The IMF last year prematurely ended a loan programme to Sri Lanka after disbursing $1.3 billion of an agreed $1.5 billion facility, leaving the nation scouting for ways to tide over the pandemic-induced downturn. With no revenue from tourism, a sector that until recently made up about 5% of the country’s economy, Sri Lanka has turned to countries like China and India for emergency support amid a weak foreign-reserves position.

The island nation has $500 million of bonds due January 18 and $1 billion in July. Rating companies like Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service have cut the sovereign’s credit score deeper into junk territory citing delays in the government’s fundraising efforts, say reports.