ETI asset sale: Sri Lanka CB says did not select buyer, only asked extra US$15mn

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Central Bank said it did not select a buyer for the assets of troubled ETI Finance Ltd, but only made the selected buyer pay 15 million US dollars more than originally offered.

The regulator said under the process decided by the Monetary Board (MB) of the Central Bank, all negotiations for the sale of assets were carried out by the Board of Directors of ETI Finance Ltd.

"As such, all requests made to invest and/or purchase assets of ETIF were directed to the company," the central bank said in a statement.

"Accordingly, selection of a party to whom the assets of ETIF were to be transferred was done by the Board of Directors (BOD) of ETIF, and the MB only granted necessary approvals from the perspective of protecting the depositors’ interests, subject to various conditions including carrying out the transaction in compliance with all the applicable laws and regulations in the country."

The Central Bank said there had been bids ranging from 61 million US dollars to 75 million US dollars.

ETIF had selected the current buyer, and the Monetary Board had demanded that the buyer pay 15 million US dollars more before giving approval. The next highest bidder had offered 61 million US dollars.

"CBSL at all times insisted on carrying out the transaction within applicable laws and regulations," the regulator said.

"As such, each tranche of the transaction, which was channelled to ETIF through reputed banking channels was approved by CBSL subsequent to the relevant banks clearing the funds through enhanced due diligence conducted as per applicable laws and regulations."

Out of the 75 million US dollars, 54 million dollars had come so far, which was used to repay 20 percent of the deposits of the company. Another 16 million dollars, which had been delayed due to unspecified reasons, had been expected in February, the regulator said. (Colombo/Feb11/2019-SB)





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