TKS Group of Companies, which is Malaysian-owned, last week unveiled its new corporate structure and logo with a view of further enhancing its efficiency and highlighting the business synergies within the Group itself.
The new corporate logo and structure is expected to bring the various companies under one banner so as to better serve its growing client base.
TKS Group has diversified interests in the Sri Lankan market. In the financial sector, it has three companies in its stable, namely Asian Finance Ltd., TKS Finance Ltd. and TKS Securities Ltd.
To ensure a more efficient environment within these companies and to propel these companies forward, TKS Capital Ltd. has been established to provide various support services to the Group such as audit functions, information technology support, secretarial services and human resource management, amongst others.
“This will help make the three subsidiaries more efficient as well as focus on their core businesses,” TKS Group Deputy Chairman and top Malaysian banker including former Head of its National Savings Bank, Azim Zabidi said.
He also said that the Group’s finance arm would rapidly expand its operations in Sri Lanka to provide its customers a wider product range.
“We want to strengthen the brand and reach the public with simple solutions and strong commitment,” Zabidi told a press conference on Friday.
He said that the three companies have got excellent CEOs in Sanathan Dalugoda at Asian Finance, Hussain Gani at TKS Securities and Rasika Kaluarachchi at TKS Finance.
The Board of Directors of Asian Finance has been reconstituted with the inclusion of professionally qualified Directors, nominated by the new shareholders.
Asian Finance prides itself in that none of its depositors were required to have their fixed deposits be converted into the shares of the company. Stringent internal control and vigorous provisions have also been made on the loans portfolios and real estate stocks of Asian Finance to put the company on a stronger footing to face the challenges ahead.
“Additional capital will be further injected to fund the company expansion program within the next few months,” Zabidi revealed. The current capitalisation of Asian Finance stands at Rs. 900 million.
He also said Asian Finance would not engage further in the business of real estate but instead focus purely on its core business, which is providing finance to the people and small businesses of Sri Lanka.
As part of its exit strategy in the real estate business, Asian Finance recently undertook a corporate exercise to unlock the value of its Head Office at R.A. De Mel Mawatha by disposing and subsequently leasing back the property. This corporate exercise is expected to generate cash flow for Asian Finance.
According to Asian Finance CEO Sanathana Dalugoda, the company has a real estate base of around Rs. 1 billion.
Zabidi said that the completion of this exercise is expected in the next few months.
As for TKS Finance, now entering its second year of operations, plans are afoot to expand its network of branches throughout the country. A total of 20 new branches are expected to be opened within the next three years. This should place TKS Finance as a force to be reckoned with in the ensuing years, Zabidi said.
To differentiate the TKS Group finance arm from the rest of its competitors, Asian Finance is planning to co-brand the issuance of Visa Credit Cards with a local bank in Sri Lanka.
Going forward Zabidi said depending on the progress and prospects, TKS Group might consider merging Asian Finance and TKS Finance or sell down on one of the entities.
The TKS Group’s finance arm is expected to venture into Shariah-compliant finance business, by launching its first Shariah-compliant product soon. In addition, the Group’s finance arm together with TKS securities will be collaborating further to innovate and launch new products to meet the needs of TKS Securities’ clients.
TKS Securities, the equity investment arm of the Group, is managed by a highly experienced team of stockbrokers and analysts and can be regarded as one of the leading stock brokers in Sri Lanka. The company is also the exclusive partner in Sri Lanka for New York based Auerbach Grayson and Company, one of the largest equity investors in the Colombo bourse. TKS Securities have set up branches in major cities in Sri Lanka to expand and serve its corporate and retail clients better. According to TKS Securities CEO Hussain Gani, the firm is currently ranked number six out of 28 whilst Deputy Chairman said plans are to rise to within top three or five.
Zabidi stressed that the Group was heading in the right direction with its members gaining market share and would show strong growth and good profits in the coming years.
He also said that Malaysia was one of the top investors in Sri Lanka and given post-war potential Sri Lanka was in a great position to benefit from Malaysia’s success and lessons learnt.