Steady Business

Feb 12 (LBO) – Rating agency Fitch Lanka affirmed Central Finance Company’s A+(lka)’ long-term rating on the strength of its vehicle financing business, with the firm also branching out into real estate.

The company holds a 20 percent stake in licensed commercial bank Nations Trust Bank, and also has interests through associate and subsidiary companies in insurance brokering, manufacturing of tea and PVC pipes.

The Outlook on the rating is stable, Fitch said in a statement on Monday, on account of is strong financial performance and profitability.

The rating is constrained by the limitations of Registered Finance Companies’ business model against the greater size and product/funding diversity of commercial banks.

Central Finance is Sri Lanka’s second largest registered finance company, accounting for 24.6 percent of sector assets as at March 2006.

Though bulk of the business is still in vehicle financing facilities, the company has also begun a condominium project through a wholly owned subsidiary, targeting the middle-income market.

Real estate however, is to be undertaken on a selective basis, the rating agency said, and will not take up a large share of the company’s por