June 29, 2009 (LBO) – Fitch Ratings Lanka said it has confirmed the national long-term rating of National Development Bank (NDB) at ‘AA(lka)’ with a stable outlook. The agency has also confirmed NDB’s subordinated debentures at ‘AA-(lka)’, Fitch said in a statement.
NDB’s ratings are reflective of its continued strong financial profile relative to its peers, Fitch said.
However, the ratings are constrained by the bank’s relatively less diversified funding and lending, a consequence of its comparatively recent transformation to a licensed commercial bank from a licensed specialised bank.
Loan growth remained modest at 9.1 percent in the year to December 2008, although marginally above that of the sector, which was 6.8 percent in 2008.
NDB has been re-aligning its portfolio away from long-term project finance towards the shorter tenure corporate and consumer segments since its transformation to a licensed commercial bank (LCB) in mid-2005.
While its re-alignment resulted in a significant share of loan growth from corporates, curtailed exposure to identified economic sectors since the last quarter of 2007, has meant that as much as 53 perce