Sri Lanka’s Bank of Ceylon to sell Rs8.0bn 5, 8-year debt

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s state-run Bank of Ceylon will sell up to 8.0 billion rupees of 5 and 8-year debt which have been rated ‘AA(lka)’, Fitch Ratings said.

The bond will pay fixed and floating rates of interest.

The bonds will be used to boost Tier 2 capital of the bank.

The full statement is reproduced below:

Fitch Rates BOC’s Subordinated Debentures Final ‘AA(lka)’

Fitch Ratings-Colombo-04 September 2015: Fitch Ratings has today assigned Bank of Ceylon’s (BOC; AA+(lka)/Stable) proposed up to LKR8bn of subordinated debentures a final National Long-Term Rating of ‘AA(lka)’.

The assignment of the final rating follows the receipt of documents conforming to information already received, and the final rating is the same as the expected ratings assigned on 17 July 2015.

The proposed subordinated debentures, which will have tenors of five and eight years and carry fixed and floating coupons, will be listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange. BOC plans to use the proceeds to strengthen its Tier 2 capital base and reduce asset and liability maturity mismatches.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

The proposed subordinated debentures are rated one notch below BOC’s National Long-Term Rating to reflect the subordination to senior unsecured creditors.

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The issuer rating is driven by Fitch’s expectation of extraordinary support from the government of Sri Lanka (BB-/Stable). This stems from BOC’s high systemic importance, quasi-sovereign status, role as a key lender to government, and full state ownership. The Stable Outlook on BOC reflects the Stable Outlook on the sovereign’s rating.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

Any change in BOC’s National Long-Term Rating will affect the issue rating to the same extent.

Any change in Sri Lanka’s sovereign rating, or in the perception of state support to BOC, could result in a change in the ratings of BOC. Visible demonstration of preferential support for BOC in the form of an explicit guarantee will be instrumental to an upgrade of its National Long-Term Rating.

A full list of BOC’s ratings follows:

Long-Term Foreign-Currency IDR: ‘BB-‘; Outlook Stable

Long-Term Local-Currency IDR: ‘BB-‘; Outlook Stable

Short-Term Foreign-Currency IDR: ‘B’

Viability Rating: ‘b+’

Support Rating: ‘3’

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