Bond Deal

July 3, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Peoples’ Leasing Company (PLC) is selling a billion rupee 5-year bond to extend the maturity of its short term borrowings, Fitch Ratings which gave the security a ‘BBB+(lka)’ rating said.

The leasing company, which is rated ‘A-(lka)’ with a ‘stable’ outlook, is planning to list the subordinated, unsecured and redeemable bond.

The lower rating comes because the security is subordinated to the PLC’s existing senior debt.

PLC is a fully owned subsidiary of state-run Peoples’ Bank which is also rated ‘A-(lka)’ with a positive outlook.

Fitch says PLC benefits from Peoples’ Bank’s strong brand franchise, operational and funding support but is constrained by the market risk and limited funding diversity of the specialised leasing company sector.

Around 81 percent of PLC’s loan growth during the 2008 financial year was funded from local institutional borrowings, with the balance 19 percent coming from equity.

Fitch says leasing firms went for short-term borrowing given recent rate volatility in the past yer and PLC had also increased commercial paper and promissory note issues.

Commercial paper and promissory notes in aggregate accounted for 35 percent of PLC