Singer to float debenture to partly retire debt

June 23, 2006 (LBO) – Singer (Sri Lanka) Ltd is raising 600 million rupees in debt through an unlisted, unsecured debenture, the consumer goods retailer said Friday. Operating for over 100-years, Singer’s success largely stems from strong and well established brand name and its extensive islandwide network of outlets. The four-year issue will also carry a credit rating, Singer’s Director, Asoka Pieris said.

Singer’s unsecured redeemable debentures were rated A+ (lka) by Fitch Ratings Lanka last May.

Pieris did not specify, but analysts expect most of the funds to go towards retiring some short-term debt and feed their hire-purchase loan book.

For the first quarter ended March 31, 2006 Singer’s hire purchase portfolio stood at around 5.0 billion rupees. The portfolio has an annual growth of between 25-30 percent.

Nearly half of the firm’s sales now come from hire purchase schemes. Defaults are low, around 2-percent.