Upgraded

Feb 01, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s People’s Leasing Finance (PLF), a unit of Peoples Leasing Company by one notch to ‘BBB(lka)’ with a stable outlook, on expected support from its ‘A(lka)’ parent which owns 93 percent of the firm. Fitch said support from the parent was now “more likely” than in the past as the parent’s stand-alone financial strength has improved over the past year.

PLC also channels Islamic lending products via PLF, broadening the group’s lending portfolio.

The ratings could be upgraded if there is a greater operational integration between PLC and PLF, or an increase in PLF’s strategic importance to the PLC group — measured by the proportion of deposit-funded group-assets — while maintaining healthy asset quality and profitability, Fitch said.

A weakening of PLC’s stand-alone financial position, or a perceived waning of PLF’s strategic importance to PLC, could result in a downgrade of PLF’s rating.

PLF’s gross advances had grown 68 percent in the six months ended September 2010, driven by renewed marketing efforts amid improving economic activity.

By September PLF’s advances consisted of lease and hire purchase contracts (76 percent) and sundry loans (24 percent), which are predominant