Bank Rating

Aug 11, 2009 (LBO) – RAM Ratings said it has lifted the Rating Watch on Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka (MBSL) and also confirmed the long- and short-term ratings at AA- and P1. The long term rating has a stable outlook, the rating agency said in a statement.

The AA- ratings of the bank’s 300 million rupee Unlisted Private Debentures and 14.16 million rupee Unlisted Public Debentures have also been reaffirmed, with a stable outlook.

MBSL had been placed on Rating Watch in April 2009, following the acquisition of a licensed specialised bank (LSB), the former Ceylinco Savings Bank, and an insurance company, formerly ABC Insurance Company.

“MBSL’s reaffirmed ratings are firmly supported by the credit strength and financial flexibility stemming from its parent, state-owned Bank of Ceylon (BOC),” RAM Ratings said.

The state-owned BOC, the largest commercial bank in Sri Lanka in terms of assets, owns 76 percent of MBSL.

“BOC is a sovereign-owned entity that has consistently demonstrated its commitment to MBSL via long- and short-term loans, thereby enhancing the bank’s financial flexibility,” RAM Ratings said.

“Accordingly, despite MBSL being a