Infrastructure Finance

July 03, 2009 (LBO) – HSBC’s Sri Lanka unit is looking to finance a private container port to be built as part of an expansion of Colombo port, and post-war reconstruction projects in the island, a top official said. “We are looking to support investors bidding for the Colombo port expansion,” Nick Nicolaou, head of HSBC in Sri Lanka told LBO in the sidelines of a business forum in Colombo.

“It will need 400 to 500 million dollars in financing.”

Bids for the concession to operate a container terminal in Colombo port are due close on July 08.

Nicolaou said the bank has already mobilized around 1.5 dollars in foreign financing for infrastructure through syndicated loans, export import bank credit arrangements as well as some loans through its own balance sheet.

The bank had helped finance the Southern Highway, an expressway running from Colombo to Matara in the south coast, a fishery harbhour in Dikowita, a combined cycle plant in Kerawalapitiya and a number of flyovers in Colombo, he said.

The end of a 30-year war with Tamil Tiger separatists in May had also paved the way to re-build infrastructure in the north and the east of the country.

“I have just been in north and east,” Nicolaou t