Waiting Game

Commercial Bank of Ceylon has sought regulatory approval to acquire five percent of its shares through an off-the floor transaction.
The shares owned by Sri Lanka Insurance Corp., will be used to fund an employee share trust for the banks staff.rn

rnSLIC owns 29.91 percent in Commercial Bank and the government plans to dispose these shares as part of the insurance giants privatisation programme.rn

rnWashington based International Finance Corp (IFC) has made an offer to buy 15 percent of this block at Rs. 165 per share.rn

rnLBO learns IFCs proposal has got a favourable response from the government.rn

rnThe balance 9.91 percent parcel will sold off to SLICs eventual investor.rnIFC has also agreed to give bridging finance to enable Commercial Bank to buy up the five percent block at Rs. 165 per share. rn

rnThe three-month loan from IFC will carry an interest rate of 175 basis points over the London interbank offered rate and a quarter percent front-end fee.

Commercial Bank also has the option