Capital Issue

Nov 16, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state-owned Bank of Ceylon (BOC), the main commercial banker to the government, is planning to raise six billion rupees in debt next year to beef up regulatory capital, a top official said. At the rate we are growing the loan book we will have a two billion rupee capital deficit to bridge next year, Gamini Wickramasinghe, chairman, Bank of Ceylon (BOC) said.

We will go for a public debenture to raise five to six billion rupees next year while also boosting the capital with some retained profits.

BOC, which controls 18 percent of banking system assets, is one of two commercial bankers to state owned businesses and the government.

Capital Adequacy

A slowing economy and lower government borrowing is expected to limit credit growth next year.

Our lending has been growing at 30 percent and we want to bring it down to say 20 percent, says Wickramasinghe who is also the chairman of the local securities watchdog SEC.

Bank of Ceylon also cut lending rates by one percent last month after the government settled half its outstanding overdraft.

People are finding it difficult to manage and lots of companies are finding it difficult to re