Standard Rating

Aug 29, 2008 (LBO) - Sri Lanka's Standard Chartered Bank (SCBSL) branch has been given a AAA(lka) rating with a 'stable' outlook, Fitch Ratings said. Fitch said the rating reflected the financial strength of Standard Chartered A+ international rating which is higher than the B+ sovereign foreign currency rating of Sri Lanka.

Fitch said the bank slowed its credit growth to 4.3 percent in the 2007 financial year from 39.1 percent in 2006 with more cautious lending.

It followed the trend of private commercial banks in Sri Lanka which reduced credit growth to 16.5 percent from 22.9 percent in 2006 on the back of tight monetary policy.

But Fitch said the bank had focused on lending more to the creditworthy corporate and in the first quarter ending March 2008, the bank had seen 22.7 percent loan growth through upper and middle tier corporate clients.

Standard Chartered's strong financial profile, supported by its high profitability and good asset quality, has allowed the bank to generate return of assets (ROA) higher than the domestic private commercial banks.

Its ROA was 3.6 percent in the first quarter of 2008, (2.8 percent for t

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