Nation Lanka Finance is forecasting a profit of Rs. 200 million and Rs. 400 million for the financial years 2014 and 2015, respectively, Asanga Seneviratne, Director of Nation Lanka Finance PLC told reporters in Colombo this week.
He was speaking at a company-organised media briefing.
“We have many plans for the future which includes, taking the current asset base of Rs. 5 billion to Rs. 10 billion by 2016. Our forecasted profit by the end of the financial years 2014 and 2015 are Rs. 200 million and Rs. 400 million, respectively,” said Mr. Seneviratne.
He also mentioned that there was a deposit base of nearly Rs. 1.5 billion at the time when Nation Lanka was taken over at the invitation of the government. At that time Rs. 1.4 billion had been paid and the rest Rs. 100 million had to be paid back. Nation Lanka Finance was one of the few companies that had restructured and had paid back the depositors. Most of the depositors at Nation Lanka are from the middle to lower income range.
“Nation Lanka Finance assets at the moment just surpassed Rs. 5 billion. The deposit base is Rs. 2.7 billion and the lending base is Rs. 2.5 billion. Microfinance has been one of our main areas and out of our net portfolio of Rs. 2.4 billion, 60 per cent is in microfinance. All in all the company is looking into the future with great hope,” he added.
The company has supported a lot of sports activities in a big way. A total investment of Rs. 90 million had been made in the Havelock rugby football ground in Colombo 5. The ground has shown an income of over Rs. 8.5 million.
Nation Lanka Chief Executive Officer, Charith Amarasekara said, “We are planning to redefine our future basically on the backdrop of our credit rating. We have received a credit rating of B stable outlook. This would give us a lot of opportunities in terms of funding, like the international funding lines which are relatively low cost funding compared to public deposits. Public deposits are small funds. We are looking at large financial institutions to invest in our company which will generally fill the growth of the company within the next 18 years.”
He also said, “We had a bleak past and we are just getting out of it. Right now Rs. 5 billion assets is nothing with which we entered into the medium scale category. We want to get into the large scale category by exceeding the Rs. 10 billion mark. Our target is to become one of the finest finance companies in the next two to three year horizon.”
Mr. Amarasekara also mentioned that the recent fall in interest rates had affected finance companies to a certain extent. One key area of uniqueness of Nation Lanka Finance from other finance companies is that it is heavily into microfinance and had not been affected so much. Taking the financial sector as a whole, the banks are suffering more in terms of interest rates coming down. It is a benefit in going forward and a short term problem the banks and finance companies will have to face. But if you leverage and have a proper product mix, one can mitigate those risks, he added.