Growing Sideways

Sri Lanka’s Lanka Orix Leasing Co Ltd is looking at regional expansions and a possibility of getting into commercial banking, as it moves into the next phase of its growth cycle. Sri Lanka’s Lanka Orix Leasing Co Ltd is looking at regional expansions and a possibility of getting into commercial banking, as it moves into the next phase of its growth cycle. LOLC derives its revenues from leasing, stockbroking, insurance, factoring, financing and IT services.

Regional plans include setting up a leasing unit in Bangladesh, which is fast emerging as a vibrant financial centre, LOLC’s Chairman Rohini Nanayakkara told reporters on Monday.

LOLC, Sri Lanka’s first leasing company celebrates, turns 25 this year, and has set its sights on expanding into commercial banking.

“At the moment we don’t have an opportunity to buy a commercial bank, though we want to get into it,” LOLC’s Deputy Chairman Ishara Nanayakkara said.

But a Central Bank directive to set banks’ capital at US$ 25 million in 2007 (up from US$ 5 million at present), may delay LOLC’s plans.

“Even if we buy a bank now, its capital will have to raised by about five times, and that’s too costly for us. We