Sri Lanka insurance IPO gets foreign interest

June 13, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Janashakthi Insurance says there is strong foreign interest centered around the Middle Eastern region for their 400 million rupee initial public offering that is opening on Monday. In the year to December 2007, the group posted 525 million rupees in profits and reported revenues of 5.2 billion rupees. (US$1 = SLRS107.85)

“There is strong foreign interest especially from the Middle East,” director Ramesh Schaffter said.

Unlike other parts of the world where markets have been hit by a credit collapse, the oil rich Middle East is flushed with cash.

A 150 million US dollar loan for the Sri Lanka government that was wrapped up yesterday also had lenders from the Middle East.

Janashakthi is selling 16.5 million shares at 12 rupees each with an option to sell a further 16.5 million shares if there is enough demand.

The company says they are confident that both tranches will be sold.

“There has also been strong retail interest,” Schaffter said. “We had to print extra prospectuses and application forms because of higher demand.”