Equity Deals

Dec 31, 2008 (LBO) – A proposed sale of Sri Lanka’s Seylan Bank shares by the Ceylinco group can go ahead under standard rules governing such deals, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. “Under the normal process the sale of shares can take place,” Governor Cabraal said.

“Already the trading halt (by the Colombo Stock Exchange) has been lifted.”

Seylan stocks extended Tuesday’s gains to trade at 27.50 up 7.25 rupees in intra-day trading Wednesday on top of a 4.50 rupee increase a day earlier.

Sri Lanka’s central bank has rules limiting ownership of bank shares except with specific central bank permission.

The Ceylinco group which has equity control of Seylan Bank has announced its exit from Seylan to raise money to pay off customers of Golden Key Credit Card Company which failed earlier in December.

The bank’s board was dissolved by the Central Bank and it was placed under the administration of state-run Bank of Ceylon.

Cabraal said Ceylinco chairman Lalith Kotelawala appreciated the action of the regulator which came after depositors started withdrawing money from the banks.

The Ceylinco group estimated to control about 51 percent of the bank throug