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Sri Lanka People’s Leasing plans billion rupee CP sale

Nov 01, 2012 (LBO) - Sri Lanka's People's Leasing Company, the country's largest leasing firm is planning a billion rupees commercial paper sale, which has been given a short term 'F1+(lka) rating, Fitch Ratings said. People's Leasing has a long term rating of 'AA-(lka)' from Fitch.

The leasing firm is a unit of state-run People's Bank and is the island's largest non-bank lender.

The proposed commercial paper will have a tenor of up to a year, Fitch said.

The full statement is reproduced below

Fitch Rates People's Leasing's Proposed CP 'F1+(lka)'

Fitch Ratings-Colombo/Seoul/Singapore-31 October 2012: Fitch Ratings Lanka has assigned People's Leasing Company PLC's (PLC, 'AA-(lka)'/Stable) proposed issue of commercial paper of up to LKR1bn a National Short-Term 'F1+(lka)' rating. A full list of PLC's ratings is provided at the end of this commentary.

The proposed notes will have a tenor of up to one year, and will be used to finance the company's working capital requirements.

The ratings reflect potential extraordinary support from the government ('BB-'/Stable) through PLC's state-owned parent, People's Bank (PB; 'AA+(lka)'/Stable), in times of distress. PB owns 75% of PLC. This is based on the strong linkages between PLC and PB, the subsidiary's strategic importance to PB, as well as the consequent reputation risk to the government if PLC were to default on its financial obligations.

PB's capacity to support PLC is derived from the financial capacity and propensity of the government of Sri Lanka, given the bank's increasing role in Sri Lanka's post-war economic development and its high systemic importance (18% of system assets and deposits in 2011).

PLC is the largest non-bank financial institution in Sri Lanka by advances, with a 21% share of the market at end-2011. At end-June 2012, its total assets and post-tax profits stood at LKR96bn and LKR720m respectively.

Further details on PLC are available on www.fitchratings.com and www.fitchratings.lk.

PLC's ratings:

Long-Term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Rating: 'B+'; Outlook Stable
Long-Term Local Currency Issuer Default Rating: 'B+'; Outlook Stable
National Long-term Rating: 'AA-(lka)'; Outlook Stable
LKR1.48bn outstanding senior unsecured redeemable debentures: 'AA-(lka)',
LKR2bn outstanding rated commercial paper: 'F1+(lka)'
Proposed commercial paper of up to LKR1bn: 'F1+(lka)'

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