The Finance Co. PLC, hot on the heels of the share deal fiasco with the National Savings Bank, said last night, that the deal was meant to be as a part of a capital infusion, that the oldest finance company was looking for, to bridge a Rs. 3.7 billion negative net worth.
Dropping a further bombshell in the immediate aftermath of the share deal, which left the first reversed transaction on the floor of the Colombo Stock Exchange, by the Securities and Exchange Commission that rocked the country’s capital market, The Finance Company has bigger plans to get the National Savings Bank to further invest up to Rs. 3.7 billion in order to merge synergies in the banking and financial services sector, TFC Chairman Preethi Jayawardena revealed.
"We were really looking at merging synergies with the National Savings Bank. There are the large office spaces of TFC that the NSB could have made use of. Just as much as Bank of Ceylon has leasing and other financial services with its subsidiary Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka and People’s Bank has it with Peoples Leasing, that was the type of arrangement that we were to have with National Savings Bank," Jayawardena told a news conference at the Renuka Hotel last night.
He also said that TFC was looking for a strategic partner from the Asian region to infuse capital, to the tune of at least Rs. 3 billion, with which the troubled finance company would be quite comfortable. However, he was extremely tight lipped as to what the Asian country was!
He also said that one of the options was to go on selling buildings and the commercial properties which were in the land bank of the company, whose aggregate value stood at over Rs. 4 billion.
We are a bank which buys and sells land and we have a portfolio of Rs. 4 billion which we could dispose of and that was one option, he said, adding that the sales would not be at losses. "If we recover our costs, we will be happy," he remarked.
Asked what type of capital gains the company expected, he said that the previous blocks of land that the company sold, yielded a 25 per cent capital gain.
But, he and Managing Director/CEO Kamal Yatawara went to great lengths to say that the revitalized company was in safe hands and that the only drawback was the Rs. 3 billion capital infusion after which the sky would be the limit for future growth prospects.
Meanwhile, Jayawardena and Yatawara, issued a media release titled: ‘The Finance Company PLC, On Sustainable Growth Path’ which said that the public should be assured that TFC would not be affected by the recent TFC-NSB transaction, which was strictly a private affair between the owners of the shares and NSB, and had no impact on TFC or its depositors.
The release said that the loan disbursements of the company had seen accelerated growth of 123 per cent in 2011/12 compared to 2010/11. Whilst the new deposit intake had been on the upward trend with a year on year growth of 170 per cent for fixed deposits and 54 per cent for savings, there has been a high percentage of deposits being reinvested with the company at maturity.
It added that The Finance Co. PLC was able to conclude operations for the month of April on a high note recording a remarkable inflow of new deposits of over Rs. 01 billion apart from renewals.
Pawning being a main contributor to the company’s bottom line had lived up to its expectations, recording a year on year growth of 237 per cent. In keeping with the expansion plan of the pawning operation, the company opened new Pawning centres in Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Vavuniya and Maharagama, the release said.