Bank of Ceylon shops for dollars

June 2, 2006 (LBO) – State-run Bank of Ceylon is actively pursuing to raise around 250 million dollars through a syndicated loan from foreign banks with offices in Sri Lanka, market sources said. Last year, Bank of Ceylon raised 130 million dollars via a two-year syndicated loan to finance its ongoing trading facilities including oil imports to Ceylon Petroleum Corporation.

The government is also raising dollars separately through a bond later this month. Sri Lanka’s largest commercial bank in terms of assets, is currently engaged in financing key state import bills and requires a buffer stock of dollars to pay for petroleum, wheat and sugar purchases.

Sources close to the deal declined to say the exact use of the funds, but it is believed that most, or all of it, would go to the government.