Making a strategic move by joining up with Navaloka and Access Equities, Nation Lanka Finance PLC is now geared to obtain a finance company licence from the Central Bank with the aim of regularizing deposits which are being maintained as debt instruments, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company Bede Fernando told the Business Times on the side lines of a press conference convened in Colombo this week to announce the new board of directors.
He said that their debt instrument portfolio is little over Rs.2 billion with 2,500 depositors who are currently receiving interest rates ranging from 9 to 10% on ordinary deposits. He expressed the belief with transformation of the company as a Central Bank regulated finance company; it will be able to increase its deposit base. Nation Lanka Finance is planning to diversify into new sectors such as unit trust and fund management, he revealed.
It is also planning to list one of its subsidiaries, Millennium City Developers in the Colombo Stock Exchange by September this year, Mr Fernando disclosed. The company hopes to raise Rs.300 million through its rights issue which is to be closing next week as well, he said. The new Board of Directors of the company comprise Jayantha Dharmadasa (Chairman), Asanga Seneviratne, J. Rudra, U.H. Dharmadasa and P.M.L.K. Karunaratne. The appointment of the new board follows a consortium of investors participating in a Rs. 500 million private placement on the following basis — Seneviratne’s firm Investor Access Equities (Rs. 350 million) Nawaloka Construction (Rs. 70 million) and J. Rudra (Rs. 80 million).
Mr Seniviratne told the Business Times that Nation Lanka which is a licensed leasing company regulated by the Central Bank will further improve its leasing business under the new set up. He said that the company will expand its construction arm to venture into mega infrastructure projects as well as building construction and housing projects in a big way. The company will take prompt action to sell blocks of lands numbering around 1,000 worth around Rs. 2 billion located countrywide. Revealing ambitious business plan, Mr Seneviratne noted that the company will link up with a foreign investor to strengthen its stock brokering division to venture into the business overseas as well. Nation Lanka’s stock brokering arm is a very strong player locally, he said.
Mr. Seneviratne noted that the company is committed to provide a diverse range of financial products , and services focusing on capital markets and the property sector and it will offer competitive investment opportunities for the customers.