Business Times

Dollar shortage in Male hurts Lankan-owned properties

A shortage of dollars in neighbouring Maldives is unlikely to adversely impact on resorts owned by Sri Lankan companies except in the cost of inputs. Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Hotels which has four properties in the ‘Adaaran’ brand in the Maldives, said with 90% of the purchases being imported inputs, there would be a cost escalation in this segment of hotel operations.

“It won’t affect revenues but our purchase costs – all in dollars – would rise,” he said, adding that the company was negotiating an agreement with one of three Male fuel suppliers to keep down costs.
John Keells also has three properties in the Maldives. Earlier this month, the government battling a shortage of dollars as export income fell woefully short of the demand announced a managed float of the Maldivian currency, Rufiya, from a fixed rate. The decision is aimed to encourage more foreign exchange into the country and curb the blackmarket which was offering 16 Rufiya per dollar against the fixed rate of 12.75 Rufiya.

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