Seylan Sale

April 18, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s central bank says six parties have expressed interest in buying a one-third stake of Seylan Bank, which was put under the wing of a state bank following a run on its deposits.

Seylan Bank, a unit of Sri Lanka’s Ceylinco group, suffered a run after an unregulated firm in the group collapsed. The central bank called for expressions of interest to acquire a 33 percent interest in the bank by injecting capital through new shares.

“These prospective investors comprise four financial institutions and two other non financial establishments,” the Central Bank said in a statement.

Listed Sampath Bank has said it has submitted a bid.

The central bank said a committee was now evaluating the bids to “to identify prospective bidders”.

The bidders will be notified of the regulator’s decision by April 24.

The central bank said it was looking for 5.7 billion rupees to be injected to the bank by the new strategic buyer.