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Lending Expectations

Sept 04, 2013 (LBO) - Sri Lanka's Sampath Bank is planning a branch in Myanmar and is expecting 20 percent credit growth this year despite tighter economic conditions, a top official said. "Our intention is to have a presence overseas," managing director Aravinda Perera said.
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"We are looking at Myanmar."

The bank already has a stake in a financial firm Bangladesh, which it helped set up, though a part of its stake has been sold down.

Sampath, which started in 1986 and has grown to be the third largest private lender in the country, is also selectively also selectively eyeing cross-border lending.

"We are also ready to lend overseas," Perera says.

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"We have certain facilities approved for people to set up power projects in Bangladesh.

But we still believe that there is enough scope in this country."

The bank grew its loan 23 percent in 2012 and over 30 percent in 2011.

This year the Sampath is expecting 20 percent credit growth, despite tighter economic conditions.

"For an aggressive player there is still room for expansion," Perera says.

"If you take the first six months, if you look at loan growth in absolute terms we probably had the highest credit
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