Big Ticket

Sept 22, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s National Development Bank is positioning itself to push ‘big ticket’ deals in global markets partnering with Singapore’s DBS Bank as the end of a war bring new investment opportunities, officials said. NDB Bank group chief executive said Russell de Mel said an investment banking partnership with Singapore’s DBS Bank could channel around 300 million dollars to Sri Lanka over the next two years.

“We are really looking at big projects,” de Mel said. “There are huge giants in cement who want to set up in Sri Lanka, perhaps another sugar mill and state of the art hospitals in the north and the east.”

Initial public offers in Sri Lanka’s stock markets have become larger over the past year, though the overall market is going through a correction at the moment.

“The Sri Lankan market can cater to a certain amount,” Vajira Kulatilake, who heads NDB’s investment banking cluster said.

“But beyond that you have to go abroad. Three years ago if I was given a mandate to do a 20 million or 10 million US dollar deal we would think about it twice. But now this market can absorb that kind of transactions without a problem.

“There will be more and more, large IPOs will come to the market. More I