Fine Line

Sri Lanka Insurance Corp.
quote s (SLIC) controlling stake in Commercial Bank may come up for grabs when the insurance giant is sold off this year.rn

rnSLIC currently owns 29.91 percent in Commercial Bank, which is worth around Rs. 659 mn as at Dec. 31, 2001. The DFCC Bank is the next highest shareholder of Commercial Bank holding just 29.70 percent.

rnrnBut the government is currently considering whether to include the commercial bank shareholding in the sale of SLIC, privatisation documents prepared by consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) reveal.

rnCommercial Bank is Sri Lanka
quote s most profitable private bank. Its net profit in the three months to March 31, 2002 was Rs. 313 mn, compared to Rs. 293 mn in the year-earlier period. The bank is targeting over 20 percent growth in net profit for 2002 from Rs. 1.0 bn in the year ended Dec. 31, 2001 as well as a revenue growth of at least 20 percent in the current year.

rnMarket analysts are of the view that the government
quote s thinking leaves t