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From left: Dr. Fernando Im, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The World Bank, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. W A Wijewardana, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Prof. Indralal de Silva, Former (Chair) of Demography, University of Colombo, Prof. Amala de Silva, Department of Economics, University of Colombo at the panel discussion on "Demographic Change in Sri Lanka" moderated by Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

Central Bank Governor A S Jayawardene says it is a prudential requirement, which increases transparency and accountability.rn

rnSo far a handful of local banks have gone public with their credit ratings from Fitch Ratings Lanka Ltd.rn

rnOf the few, Citibank NAs local arm and National Savings Bank sports a SL AAA rating from Fitch. Citibank got it on the strength of its parent group, while NSB comes with a government guarantee.rn

rnCommercial Bank of Ceylon Ltd, the most profitable of the private quoted banks, has a SL AA+ rating, while its rival Hatton National Bank Ltd carries a SL A-. rn

rnAs at end 2002, gross non-performing loans of the local banking sector stood at 17 percent of total loans at Bank of Ceylon and Peoples Bank. Both state banks control some 48 percent of banking assets. rn

rnThe number was 14.3 percent for nine private banks, which account for 38 percent of assets. rn

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-LBO Newsdesk: LBOEmail@vanguardlanka.comrn

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