Fitch affirms 10 Finance Companies; expects asset quality to deteriorate

Aug 02, 2016 (LBO) – Fitch Ratings has affirmed the ratings of 10 Finance Companies following its periodic review of the large and midsized finance companies in Sri Lanka.

The 10 Finance Companies are People’s Leasing & Finance, Central Finance Company, Melsta Regal Finance, HNB Grameen Finance, LB Finance, Siyapatha Finance, Senkadagala Finance, AMW Capital Leasing And Finance, Singer Finance and Mercantile Investment & Finance.

“The companies in the peer group remain predominantly exposed to vehicle financing,” Fitch said in a statement.

“Fitch expects growth potential in the vehicle financing segment to be limited due to the increase in import tariffs for cars and the central bank’s imposition of a 70% cap on loan to value ratio for loans extended for the purpose of acquiring or using motor vehicles.”

Fitch further expects asset quality and capitalisation to deteriorate in the sector following aggressive loan book growth in recent years and challenging operating conditions, which were signalled in Fitch’s downgrade of Sri Lanka’s sovereign rating to ‘B+’ from ‘BB’ in February 2016.

Fitch’s ratings on the finance companies in the peer group are driven by their business model and franchise, and their risk appetite, which is reflected in their exposure to more vulnerable customer segments.

A full list of rating actions is included in the statement below.

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