Monday, 29 June 2020 10:57

BOC reinforces foreign funding to support businesses post-COVID revival

Bank of Ceylon (BOC) is reinforcing foreign funding as part of diversifying its sources of finances to enterprises and entrepreneurs withstand the Covid storm in the country.

BOC will sign a deal for $ 140 million three-year financing facility at an attractive rate from the China Development Bank (CDB), the world’s largest development financial entity.

The banking giant will get the funding via two tranches of $ 70 million each in August and December this year.

Additionally, the BOC is firming up a further $ 250 million in long-term funding from two other multilateral lenders. These, too, will be at attractive rates.

The fresh facility with CDB, the largest Chinese bank for financing bilateral cooperation as well as long-term lending and bond issuance, is the second for the BOC. The first one was in 2009.

Ahead of tomorrow’s signing, BOC Chairman Kanchana Ratwatte on Friday called on the China’s Acting Ambassador in Colombo Hu Wei. The duo discussed about greater collaboration, especially to support Sri Lanka’s post-COVID economic recovery.

“BOC would provide more financial service to enterprises and tourism,” tweeted the Chinese Embassy following the meeting.

BOC was tight-lipped about the sources of a further $ 250 million funding in the pipeline, but said it will be from multilateral agencies. In tandem with tapping external sources of funding, BOC is also stepping up support to the export sector, thereby enhancing foreign exchange earnings of the country.

A fully-fledged one-stop centre exclusively for exporters will be set up on the second floor of the BOC Head Office in Fort. This will be overseen by a senior assistant general manager.

“ With the country stepping up curbs on imports to save foreign exchange, the bank has decided to open a dedicated unit to expeditiously facilitate exporters post-COVID thereby enhance the country’s foreign exchange earnings,” BOC Chairman Kanchana Ratwatte said.

(LIN)

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