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Sri Lanka’s Sampath Bank eyes more offshore lending

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Sampath Bank is planning to do more offshore lending given the limited size of the domestic market and eyeing regional markets like the Maldives and Cambodia.

“We looked to grow our outreach beyond Sri Lanka by expanding our offshore operations across the region, as part of our medium term growth objectives,” Sampath Bank Chairman Channa Palansuriya told shareholders in the firm’s annual report.

The report said that given the limited opportunities for asset growth for offshore banking within Sri Lanka, the bank’s corporate banking division actively focused on growing its asset book in other regional markets.

These were mainly in the Maldives, Myanmar, Cambodia and Bangladesh.

“This strategy also helped Sri Lankan corporates who ventured into these markets to tap into the potential of fast growing sectors in such countries,” the report said.

“Accordingly during the year, the bank took up exposures in the lucrative and fast growing leisure sector in the Maldives and the micro finance sector in Cambodia,” it said.

“The plan is to venture into other identified locations in the near future i.e. Myanmar to explore the possibilities in leisure and agriculture, both of which are considered to be fast-growing sectors in that country.”
(COLOMBO, March 07, 2017)

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