Regional Finance

Dec 05, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Sampath Bank is looking to lend more money in the Maldives with 45 million dollars raised through a syndicated loan arranged by HSBC Bank, officials said. . “We already have a portfolio of about two million dollars in the Maldives,” Samapath Bank chief Anil Amarasuriya said.

The bank has previously lent to Bangladesh. Sri Lanka’s state-owned Bank of Ceylon has a branch in the Maldives. But Sri Lankan private banks like HNB, have been lending in the atolls for some time and found it to be profitable activity.

Maldives has the highest per capita income in South Asia, the highest economic growth and low single digit inflation. It has a booming premium leisure market in addition to fisheries.

Sampath originally went to the banks for 25 million dollars but heavy oversubscription allowed it to raise 45 million dollars in 3-year funds.

HSBC chief David Griffiths says the oversubscription was an indication of confidence placed by foreign lenders in Sri Lanka.

HSBC had previously raised 210 million dollars for the Bank of Ceylon and also participated in a recent sovereign issuance.

Nine banks from Asia and the Middle East were invo