Credit rating affirms faith in Nation Lanka Finance

Friday, 23 August 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Nation Lanka Finance PLC is poised for steady growth as it recently received a new rating by the Investment Information Credit Rating Agency Ltd. (ICRA). The B credit rating with a Stable Outlook that was awarded by ICRA unveils a new horizon for Nation Lanka Finance, positioning the company on a clear path to seek a diverse range of long-term international funding sources. Nation Lanka Finance started off as a small-scale finance company but changed direction under new management, spearheaded by Jayantha Dharmadasa and Asanga Seneviratne to give it a new beginning for a lucrative future. “A company that was in operation for over two decades was infused with new life and it turned a fresh face within a short time span,” said Nation Lanka Finance Chairman Jayantha Dharmadasa. “First and foremost we consolidated gains by strategically increasing our branch reach from a mere 12 to 22 outlets. Of course, the recent rating will allow the company to operate in a more comfortable manner.” He added: “We are committed to helping grass root level organisations and have consistently expanded credit facilities in the microfinance sector throughout the country. Our biggest strength is our young and dynamic workforce that is driven by the momentum of fearlessly reaching for new heights.” In 2012, it was a major milestone for the company when it obtained a Central Bank-issued finance license, which propelled the finance company towards medium-scale entity status. Moreover, the granting of the state-endorsed finance license established Nation Lanka Finance on firm footing – creating the needed institutional make up for the company to access a wide girth of public funds. Historically, Nation Lanka Finance was a troubled company of the Ceylinco Group but has now emerged as just a handful of companies in the original group to have started paying back money to distressed depositors – so far having paid out as much as Rs. 1.4 billion. The proven track record, versatile background and esteemed trust of Nation Lanka Finance directors have been instrumental in steering the company toward its current heights. With five billion rupees in assets, some 400 staff, and 22 branches located island wide, Nation Lanka Finance has set a new target to surpass – to achieve Rs. 10 billion in assets within the next couple financial quarters. To rein in the asset goals, the company will focus on expanding its branch network to include 50,000 customers. “The newly-attained B Stable Outlook rating will increase investor confidence in our instruments,” said Nation Lanka Finance Director Asanga Seneviratne. “We will now work at increasing our portfolio, especially by expanding the lending portfolio whilst focusing on microfinance and leasing.” “The latest credit rating will add to the health of our financials as it improves our funding cost and our standing in the international market. Also, it positions the company to better weather the coming times and redefine our future outlook,” said Nation Lanka Finance Chief Executive Officer Charith Amarasekara. National Lanka Finance presently accepts a variety of short, medium and long-term fixed deposits that guarantee the highest returns in the industry, while its savings schemes are geared to ensure maximum benefit and return for the client – together making up its attractive investment portfolio. The rest of its core-business comprises the lending products – leasing, pawning, hire purchase, micro finance for small businesses, loans at competitive rates and real estate – that offer a variety of options for personal and business loans. Leasing or hire purchase facilities are obtainable for attractive rates and are delivered with superlative service. Having developed innovative funding structures for leasing of assets or the hire purchase of assets, companies requiring capital equipment investment, or an individual requiring the convenience of a motor vehicle can avail themselves of this extremely advantageous facility. The auto finance scheme mainly focuses on granting credit for purchase of cars for personal use, and light commercial vehicles utilised by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), where flexible funding arrangements are on offer. With the correct documents in order, Nation Lanka Finance boasts of a process that takes only 24 hours for the best leasing rates in the country and doorstep professional advice. Furthermore, bespoke leasing packages offer repayment periods and monthly rentals tailor-made to client specifications. Unsurprisingly, micro financing will continue to be a key Nation Lanka Finance product. It is all about enabling and empowering entrepreneurship at the grass root level in order to stimulate economic growth. The microfinance operations are carried out in a modified Grameen joint group lending model with aspects extracted from the ASA model. Highly-trained micro finance experts at Nation Lanka Finance not only give financial assistance but are also pivotal in assisting and advising clients on managing and operating respective businesses entities. In operation for 25 years, Nation Lanka Finance has progressively surmounted the peaks and pits of the success rungs as witnessed the past 2.5 years – a testimony to the brave new age thinking that fuels the future of the organisation. Its resounding market success together with the winning formula employed by Nation Lanka Finance – the experienced top management and rated financial backing – is set to redefine the finance sector benchmark in Sri Lanka.