Mar 08, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Fitch Ratings said it had confirmed a ‘BB-(lka)’ rating of Edirisinghe Trust Investment Ltd’s (ETI), a registered finance company, with a ‘stable’ outlook. “ETI’s rating reflects its relatively weak core equity position and large exposure to real estate investments,” the rating agency said.
“It also takes into account the company’s considerable exposure to, and solid franchise in, low-risk gold-backed lending (pawning), and its consequently sound asset quality.”
Fitch said substantial improvement in ETI’s core capital base and profitability while maintaining asset quality could result in a rating upgrade.
But increased exposure to debt-funded investments leading to lower profitability or deterioration in capitalisation or asset quality could result in a downgrade.
Real estate investments accounted for 22 percent of assets for the nine months ended December 2010 from 24 percent in the 2009 financial year which were debt-funded. Fitch said slow sales of the properties had reduced profits in 2009 and in the first nine months of 2010.
Profitability as measured by returns on assets at 1.7 percent in the first nine months of the current