v2025 (2)

v2025

Business

ComBank provides nearly LKR 30 billion in concessionary financing

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon provided new concessionary lending of nearly LKR 30 billion in 2020, its centenary year, to help Sri Lankans weather the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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ComBank ends centenary year with key achievements in economic contribution

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon  will be ending its cemetery year 2020 by providing new concessionary lending of nearly Rs. 30 billion, to assist Sri Lankans weather the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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BOC awaits USD 70 million second tranche of Chinese bank facility

State-owned Bank of Ceylon (BOC) is in the process of negotiating for millions of dollars worth of further facilities with multilateral institutions while waiting to receive the USD 70 million as the second tranche of a loan facility from a leading Chinese bank, a top official of the bank said.

The funds will mainly be utilised to help businesses that need support for revival in their operations, namely in the SME sector associated with exports, fisheries, logistics, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing etc.

BOC will receive the USD 70 million second tranche of the loan facility of USD 140 million by June this year in a landmark deal with the China Development Bank (CDB), Bank Chairman Kanchana Ratwatte said.

The first tranche of USD 70 million was released on July 19 last year under this deal entered with CDB on the strength of BOC and it will be a milestone for a more comprehensive and enhanced cooperation between the two banks.

 The facility will be utilised for supplementing BOC’s general lending requirements, which will provide much needed support during Sri Lanka’s fight against COVID-19,  Ratwatte said.

He noted that as the largest commercial bank in Sri Lanka, BOC considers itself as the bankers to the nation with the strongest balance sheet and the No. 1 banking brand value to raise much needed foreign currency funds from foreign banks and lending agencies.

He said the CDB loan “will be utilised for supplementing Bank of Ceylon’s general lending requirements, which will provide much needed support for businesses affected by COVID-19”.

“The funds will mainly be utilised to help businesses that need support for revival in their operations, namely in the SME sector associated with exports, fisheries, logistics, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, etc.” he added.

“We are getting this 3-year facility at a very favourable rate. We will start paying interest at the end of one-year”,Mr. Ratwatte said. .

CDB is one of the world’s largest development financial institutions and the largest Chinese bank for financing cooperation, long-term lending and bond issuance.              

“BOC and CDB have established a long-term partnership ever since 2010, with this year marking the tenth anniversary of cooperation between the two banks,” he added.

Partnered with BOC, CDB has also provided the first CNY on-lending facility in Sri Lanka.

BOC is the only state institution maintaining a foreign correspondent bank network of over 800 banks that spreads across the world.

The signing of this Facility Agreement signals boosted cooperation between the two banks, further promoting association between financial institutions of Sri Lanka and China under the Belt and Road Initiative as China continues to grow its influence in Sri Lanka.

 
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Sri Lanka anti-money laundering watchdog fines three finance companies

Sri Lanka’s Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank, the island’s anti-money laundering watchdog, has imposed fines on three licensed finance companies for violating Financial Transactions Reporting law.
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LOLC General Insurance achieves LKR 6 billion in premiums in less than 10 years

LOLC General Insurance, a fully owned subsidiary of the LOLC Group, recently became Sri Lanka’s first general insurance company to achieve LKR 6 billion Gross Written Premium (GWP) in less than 10 years.

The company reached the LKR 6 billion mark in December 2020, becoming the fastest general insurance company to achieve this milestone in the industry, said LOLC General Insurance CEO Kithsiri Gunawardena in a media statement issued by the company.

“During the last few years we have continuously streamlined the processes and achieved greater coordination between different units of the company. The staff was motivated to work as one team and embarked on a customer-centric approach.

A scheme was introduced where a pre-designated percentage of the company profits was shared with our staff thereby elevating them to become true stakeholders of our business. We also critically analysed our expenses and introduced mechanisms to achieve greater efficiency and productivity,” he said.

Despite 2020 being the most challenging year for most businesses in the country and a year in which the insurance industry was seen recording negative growth, he said LOLC General Insurance managed to record its best performance during this year. Although external operating conditions remained challenging, the general insurance business performed steadily.

He said the opportunities for growth are immense in the market. With a saturated motor market and the challenge of limited new registrations for the foreseeable future, the price and service will be key in this sphere.

“The non-motor market is noticeably underpenetrated and this gives LOLC General Insurance opportunities to grow with our unique products and services to customers,” he said.

Discussing future plans, Gunawardena said 2021 will see innovations in terms of customer engagement with respect to digital transformation as well as unique product ranges and service standards being introduced.
 
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BOC strengthens its position as bankers to the nation

The Bank of Ceylon (BOC) continues establishing effective ecosystems and partnerships with international banks improving its risk management, BOC Chairman Kanchana Ratwatte said in Colombo on Thursday (07).

The BOC maintains asset quality, capital adequacy and profitability as well as a working relationship with foreign banks in the current difficult local and international operating environment, he told a media conference.

He noted that the bank’s international and local trade transactions are resilient with its sovereign status, full state ownership and high systemic importance.

Referring to ongoing import restrictions and the bank's facilities in local and international trade, he categorically stated that it is following the current regulations in its procedure of opening Letters of Credit for importations in close relations with foreign banks.

Referring to certain reports on the rejection of the bank’s LC’s by foreign banks, he noted that no such refusal had been made by any such bank up to now as BOC has a strong sovereign credit profile.

It has recorded the highest asset base of LKR 2.9 trillion, highest deposit base of LKR 2.3 trillion and has maintained its market leadership in trade finance, treasury operations including its’ more than 40% market share of inward remittances.

The recent downgrade of the sovereign and banking institutions in Sri Lanka had a minimal impact on the soundness of the bank and its international operations continue uninterrupted, he added.

Being a bank that has maintained its international presence for over eight decades, its foreign correspondent relationships have never been questioned and have been growing from strength to strength, he reiterated.

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Top financier Nathaniel Rothschild visits Port City

World renowned financier and a member of Rothschild family, Nathaniel Rothschild who is in Sri Lanka for a brief business tour, paid a visit to Port City Colombo on Thursday (14th).

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ComBank launches CBC Finance as successor to Serendib Finance

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC has announced the launch of CBC Finance Ltd, the bank’s fully-owned Licenced Non-bank Finance Institution (NBFI), formerly known as Serendib Finance and Indra Finance.

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SLT-MOBITEL launches upgraded eSports platform & gaming bundles

SLT-MOBITEL, the national Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions leader, and global gaming and eSports technology company Swarmio Media, recently announced the launch of their upgraded SLT Gaming & eSports Platform – esports - the first and only gaming and esports platform owned by a telco in Sri Lanka.

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EPF's equity investment records growth

Sri Lanka’s largest social security scheme, the Employees Provident Fund‘s (EPF) listed equity investments are now generating growth in market value although there was an unrealised loss in equity investment, analysts divulged.
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Malaysia based investor buys out Japanese investors in Asia Capital

Controlling shareholder, the Malaysia based investor Vijayeswaran S. Vijayaratnam, bought out the Japanese investors in Asia Capital PLC for Rs. 160 million.
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Pasan Wanigasekera assumes duties as new DG of BOI

Pasan Wanigasekara has assumed duties as Director General of the Board of Investment (BOI) today.

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