Sept 11, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Fitch Ratings has confirmed the ‘AA(lka)’ rating of state-run Bank of Ceylon, with ‘stable’ outlook, and said its exposure to the government had fallen, though it remained high. Fitch said the bank’s ‘Individual’ rating at ‘D/E’ and ‘Support’ rating at ‘4’, reflected its systemic importance as the largest bank in Sri Lanka, its stable financial profile and 100 percent state ownership and the expected state support, and its strategic importance as the primary banker to the government of Sri Lanka.
As the main banker to the government and state enterprises, Bank of Ceylon’s credit exposure to the state sector remained high at 42 percent of loans and 28 percent of assets at the end of the 2007 financial year in December.
But it was lower than the 48.9 percent of loans and 31 percent of assets in 2006.
In addition, holdings of government securities (including restructuring bonds) accounted for a further 17 percent of assets at the end December 2007, compared with 15 percent of assets for the six systemically important banks.
Off-balance sheet exposure to the state sector represented 35 percent of commitments and contingencies and 11 percent of asset by December 2