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Norfund to invest in Sri Lanka’s National Development Bank

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s National Development Bank said Norway-based development lender Norfund will invest up to 9.9 percent of by taking up unsold shares in a rights issue given to shareholders and also participating in a private placement if necessary.

“The values Norfund will bring in terms of technical assistance, long term funding, know how etc will help the bank and the country overcome the current challenges,” Group CEO of NDB Bank Dimantha Seneviratne said.

“As NDB strives to improve financial inclusion by promoting digital technologies, Norfund can make available its experience and technical assistance to help NDB improve in this area. ”

The Norfund investment comes as portfolio investors are exiting amid a sovereign downgrade and a Covid-19 pandemic had weakened asset quality in Sri Lanka’s banks.

“Norfund’s decision to invest in NDB shows the confidence they have in NDB and the Sri Lankan Economy,” NDB Chairman Eshana De Silva said.

Norfund Regional Director for Asia, Fay Chetnakarnkul said the fund was supporting NDBs strategy of expanding lending to Small and Medium Enterprises.

Norfund’s 9.9 percent investment will take foreign ownership of NDB to 21 percent. The private placement is to be priced at 82.50 rupees a share. (Colombo/Mar06/2021)
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