Sri Lanka’s HNB goes for mammoth bond issue

Sri Lanka’s Hatton National Bank said Monday it is privately raising Rs. 1.31 billion in debt to top up its capital and fall in line with regulatory requirements. Sri Lanka’s Hatton National Bank said Monday it is privately raising Rs. 1.31 billion in debt to top up its capital and fall in line with regulatory requirements. The unsecured subordinated redeemable debentures will carry tenures of six, seven, eight, 15 and 18 years, the bank’s Deputy General Manager Indranee Goonesekera said in a statement to the Colombo Stock Exchange.

The issue is believed to be priced at 2.5 percent above the six months treasury bill rate for tenures of six to eight years. Payable every six months, the issue carries a floor of eight percent and a cap of 16 percent.

The bank will issue a zero coupon bond for the longer tenures priced at around 11.15 percent.

The bank plans to list the paper on the CSE once the prospectus is filed with the Registrar of Companies.

The statement did not say when the issue opens.

HNB, which is rated A (sri) by Fitch Ratings Lanka, has shown a remarkable improvement in its financial profile, supported by equity infusions, improving profitability and risk management systems.

The bank raised Rs. 2.4 billon of fresh equity through a domestic rights issue (Rs. 1.43 billion) in November 2004 and through an international Global Depository Receipt (GDR) issue (Rs. 0.94 billion) in June 2005.

For the three-months to September 2004, HNB posted a 777 percent growth in group post-tax profits of Rs. 431.9 million over revenues of Rs. 3.8 billion (up 33 percent).

Net profits for the nine months ended to Sept. rose 101 percent to Rs. 1.1 billion over revenues of Rs. 10.7 billion (up 27 percent).

HNB is the largest private sector bank in the country with a wide spread network spanning 144 customer cnteres, and offers a broad range of services.

The bank also has subsidiaries engaged in stockbroking, and Insurance. HNB is listed, but two large trading houses – the Stassens group and the Browns Group (also listed) – together control about 38.5 percent of voting equity of the bank.

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