Sri Lanka’s Bank of Ceylon US$500mn bond sale opens – Update

Apr 26, 2012 (LBO) – Subscriptions for a 500 million dollar bond by Sri Lanka’s state-run Bank of Ceylon in international markets has opened and is attracting orders, sources familiar with the matter said. . The lender hired Bank of America, Citigroup Inc. and HSBC Holdings to sell the bond after a series of investor meetings.

Sources said orders from Asia was strong, but Sri Lanka sovereign bonds had earlier attracted strong interest from the US and similar demand is expected for the Bank of Ceylon Bond.

The bond will have a tenor of 5-years and is expected to yield a little over 7 percent.

Moody’s gave ‘B1’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook. Fitch gave the bond a ‘BB-‘ the same as Sri Lanka’s sovereign rating, citing is ‘quasi-sovereign’ status.

Locally it has been rated ‘AA+(lka).

Bank of Ceylon is Sri Lanka’s largest commercial bank in terms of assets and key lender to the state.

The issue opened in Asia and is expected to close after US markets wind down Thursday, which is early Friday in Asia.