Sri Lanka Mercantile Investments rating confirmed by RAM

Aug 14, 2009 (LBO) – RAM Ratings Lanka has confirmed the ‘A’ rating of Mercantile Investments Limited (MIL), a registered finance company in Sri Lanka. with a ‘negative’ outlook. “The negative outlook is premised on the Company’s rising delinquencies, which have been impinging on its financial performance,” RAM ratings said in a statement.

“Nonetheless, the ratings are still supported by MIL’s robust capitalisation and improved funding structure.”

A P1 short term rating and P1 rating for a 51.13 million commercial paper issue has also been confirmed.

MIL, a 45-year old firm is the fifth largest player with a 4.64 percent share. The two top players had 42 percent of the market. The company had added two branches in the year ending March 2009 to bring the total up to four.

RAM Ratings said due to its limited network and selective lending, MIL’s net loan portfolio had fallen 2.97 percent in the year to March 2009.

The firm’s gross non-performing loan (NPL) ratio on a 6-month classification basis had deteriorated from 8.19 percent in 2008 to 9.22 percent by end March 2009 partly due to its contracting loan base.

RAM Ratings Lanka said its opinion