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Sri Lanka’s Commercial Bank expects 5-6 percent credit growth 2020, buys ISBs

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Commercial Bank of Ceylon, the island’s largest private bank is expecting 5-6 percent credit growth in 2020 but stronger growth the following year, a top official has said.

Chairman Dharma Dheerasinghe was quoted in Bloomberg Newswires as saying that credit demand will pick up next year with stronger overall economic growth expected.

Dheerasinghe said credit demand was seen from the export sector, manufacturing and domestic wholesale and retail trade. The bank was ready to lend. Import trade and personal banking was weak.

With the overall economy also set to pick up next year, loans growth was expected strengthen.

Commercial Bank had bought sovereign bonds when prices fell, he said.

Sri Lanka’s sovereign bond prices fell as the rupee fell sharply in March and April.

Prices have since recovered. (Colombo/Aug08/2020)