Arm’s Reach

Feb 15, 2008 (LBO) – International Finance Corporation, the World Bank’s private sector financing arm, has given a 75 million dollar standby loan for John Keells Holdings (JKH) which can be invested abroad, the firms said in a joint statement. “This will promote cross border business and growth of infrastructure across the region,” the statement said.

IFC had earlier backed JKH in a container terminal project in Colombo. John Keells is already cash rich following funds raised from a rights issue which have not yet been used but are in high yielding Sri Lanka government treasury bills.

“In the past, as the group has embarked on new, challenging investments, IFC has been a partner of choice due to its global reach,” Susantha Ratnayake, Chairman, John Keells Holdings, said.

“For our regional investments, we require partners with knowledge of the local markets and access to long-term and flexible financing structures. IFC’s support to the group in this context will play an important role.

IFC said the facility was the largest given to a Sri Lankan firm in manufacturing and services sectors.

“The tailor-made stand-by loan facility is consistent with IFC’s strategy for Sri Lanka, as it will support a domestic entity