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Sri Lanka’s Sampath to raise 250 million rupees of 5-year money

February 26 (LBO) - Sampath bank is raising 250 million rupees through a privately placed debenture to boost its tier two capital, the bank said. It has a 30.8 percent stake in Lankabangala Finance, a Bangladeshi non-bank institution engaged in leasing and credit cards. It also has a 24.6 percent stake in Union Bank of Colombo. The 5-year subordinated debenture is expected to be closed in March, company secretary S Sudarshan told LBO.

The bank has a double AA- (lka) national long term rating from Fitch Ratings Lanka. Its debentures have previously been rated A+ (lka).

At the end of the third quarter of 2006 the bank had total capital adequacy was 10.29 percent Fitch Ratings said marginally above regulatory requirements due to high loan growth.

It its gross non-performing loan (NPL) ratio has improved to 5.2 percent from 5.9 percent and its loan loss reserve to NPL coverage was 86.4 percent.

Sampath is the seventh-largest commercial bank in Sri Lanka, commanding a 5- percent market share of banking system assets.

It has a network of 95 branches and technology-based delivery channels made up of 130 ATMs, tele-banking and internet banking services.

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