Better Outlook

Dec 18, 2007 (LBO) – Fitch Sri Lanka has lifted the outlook on Edirisinghe Trust Investment’s ‘B+(lka)’ rating to ‘positive’ from stable citing substantial improvements in the in the firm’s operational risk management. . “The company concluded the automation of its systems across all business lines in the six month period ending September 2007,” Fitch said.

The rating agency said automation would allow better management of its new diversified business areas such as vehicle financing and real investments it had entered since 2005.

The confirmation of the rating has taken into account ETI’s strength its core business area of pawn broking, but is constrained by weak asset quality in vehicle finance, and its somewhat low core capital, Fitch said.

Fitch noted that ETI’s portfolio growth was strong at 43 percent during the first half of 2008 (annualized).

Pawn broking made up 49.3 percent of the portfolio in the first half.

“The company has developed a strong customer franchise in this product over its 40-year operating history, which is further strengthened by its affiliation to the group company Swarna Mahal Jewellers,” Fitch said.

Since 2005 the firm had gone into new business areas.