Cargills Bank finally gets CB nod

Thursday, 23 January 2014 00:36 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The long awaited Cargills Bank has been granted the commercial banking operations licence by the Central Bank with effect from 21 January 2013. The two main promoters CT Holdings PLC and Cargills (Ceylon) PLC made separate announcements via a brief filing to the Colombo Stock Exchange. The entry of Cargills Bank has been on the cards for over two years with the promoters having filed an application way back in September 2011. It will be the 13th local commercial bank and the 25th when foreign banks are included. Operations are slated to start by the first quarter of this year. The new bank is expected to provide a whole range of corporate and retail banking solutions  though initially focusing on Colombo and the metropolises. With a paid up capital of Rs. 5 billion, CT Holdings and Cargills will hold 15% each whilst tea industry icon Merrill J. Fernando Group will hold nearly 10%. Two foreign institutional investors International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Germany’s development finance arm DEG will hold 10% each along with two seats on the Board. Cargills Bank has also managed to draw a good mix of pioneering shareholders who are reputed in their own leagues. Among them are Brandix, MAS Holdings, Hirdaramani, Abans Ltd., Softlogic Holdings PLC, Asian Alliance Insurance PLC, AIA Sri Lanka, Melwa Group and Lalan Group. According to industry sources, stakes held by these companies range between 3 and 5% each. The Chairman of the Cargills Bank Ltd. will be L.R. (Louis) Page whilst veteran banker Harris Premaratne is the Director/CEO. Other members of the Board include Cargills Deputy Chairman and CEO Ranjit Page as an Independent Director, and Cargills Executive Director Prabhu Mathavan as Deputy CEO/Executive Director. Among Independent Non Executive Directors are Deva Rodrigo, Mangala Boyagoda and Mrs. C.R. de Silva.