Lease Focus

May 28, 2009 (LBO) – Ceylinco Finance, a listed firm in the Ceylinco group, says it is re-structuring itself under the guidance of a veteran banker to focus on leasing, and is planning to ask for a finance company license. N B S B Balalle, a former chief executive of state-run National Savings Bank, has taken over as executive chairman.

“At my age, I would have not taken this position if I knew this company cannot be restructured,” Balalle told reporters.

“From now on we would be focusing on our core business, which is business relating to leasing.”

The firm says it is already registered as a leasing company with the central bank.

The company wants to liquidate some of its assets and generate more working capital to expand leasing. Officials say among its assets are a 10 percent stake in Seylan Bank, which is currently being restructured by the central bank.

Bede Fernando, executive director of Ceylinco Finance, says the firm is looking to sell the Seylan stake at a time it can maximize returns. Ceylinco Stockbrokers, another subsidiary, is also up for sale, a company official said.

Ceylinco Developers, a township developer, is also part of the Ceylinco Finance group, Fernando said.