Getting Ready

After an exhaustive clean up of its balance sheet, the Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka (MBSL), plans to get an investment grade rating and tap the market for cheaper sources of funds to keep its leasing portfolio ticking. After an exhaustive clean up of its balance sheet, the Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka (MBSL), plans to get an investment grade rating and tap the market for cheaper sources of funds to keep its leasing portfolio ticking. The image building campaign is also part of a scheme to tie up with a foreign partner that will help expand corporate banking activity.

While a credit rating is still yet to crystallise, the bank is pushing ahead with a Rs. 100 mn two-year, unlisted debenture issue, to feed its growing leasing portfolio.

Investors have a choice of going for a fixed interest of 12 percent or a floating rate of three percent above the one year weighted average treasury bill rate. One year treasuries currently trade at 8.00 percent in the secondary market.

In March this year, the bank raised another Rs. 163 mn from a public listed debenture issue that went over its Rs. 100 mn target in three days.

This time MBSL hopes to keep the issue open for a longer six month period with a second roun