Steady Grade

Jan. 24 (LBO) ? Sri Lanka’s DFCC Vardhana Bank retained its AA- (sri) rating for its senior unsecured long-term rating from Fitch Ratings Lanka, the agency said Tuesday. Jan. 24 (LBO) ? Sri Lanka’s DFCC Vardhana Bank retained its AA- (sri) rating for its senior unsecured long-term rating from Fitch Ratings Lanka, the agency said Tuesday. The rating indicates a very low expectation of credit risk and a strong capacity to honour financial commitments, Fitch said.

DFCC Vardhana Bank (DVB’s) stable rating outlook is pegged to the strong support from parent DFCC Bank (rated AA(sri) by Fitch) and the commercial banking operation’s strategic role in the development bank’s future plans.

DVB, has since made satisfactory progress following DFCC’s acquisition (95.2percent) in 2003, notes Fitch.

As its loan book grew, profitability levels improved. Most of the loans are to DFCC’s existing customers, with predominant exposure to the mid market segment which accounts for 58.0 percent of the portfolio.

Fitch however said that along with loan growth, DVB has recorded an increase in its non performing loans (NPL).

Absolute NPLs increased by 102.0 percent during t