Bank Chase

April 21, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Sampath Bank, NDB Bank, Lanka Orix Leasing Group and John Keells Holdings, a diversified group that owns a bank, are among the firms interested in a 33 percent stake of Sri Lanka’s Seylan Bank, officials and analysts said.

Analysts say both firms are cash-rich and could benefit from the large branch network of Seylan, though its cost-structure and asset quality is needs to be examined. John Keells Holdings already control, Nations Trust Bank.

Central Bank governor Nivard Cabraal said the regulator was hoping to wrap up the deal by the end of May.

Only the qualified investors will be allowed to conduct due diligence.

Central Bank expects the new strategic partner to invest up to 5.7 billion rupees to buy 33 percent of new stock in voting and non-voting shares and inject the money into the bank.

Diluted

The price values Seylan at 17.1 billion rupees, which analysts say makes it expensive compared to the potential profits it could generate. The price may make sense only if part of the money could be injected as debt capital.

Ordinary voting shares will increase to 65 million after the share restructure including the 21.7 million new shares being issued to accommodate the strategic pa