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Abans Finance reaches Rs. 1 Bn in Public Deposits

By Gayani Perera

Abans Financial Services Limited (AFSL) has registered Rs. 1 Bn in public deposits as at 31st March 2010. AFSL was incorporated as a Public Company on 8th April 2005 under the Companies Act. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka registered AFSL as a Finance Company on 27th August 2007 in terms of the Finance Companies Act No. 78 of 1988, which authorized the company to accept deposits from the General Public.

Mr. Kithsiri Wanigasekara, Executive Director of the company stated that the public deposit base that stood at Rs. 590 Mn as at 1st April 2009, has registered a 71% growth during the year ended 2010. The deposit base as at 31st March 2010 amounted to Rs. 1010 Mn approximately and the growth rate of 71% is in comparison to the industry average of 16%.

According to him, reaching the Rs. 1 Bn mark in public deposits within a period of two and a half years is a commendable performance taking in to consideration the industry status, particularly, in the last 18 months.

Kithsiri Wanigasekara

Kithsiri Wanigaseakra was the Chairman and Managing Director of Sinhaputhra Finance Ltd., from December 1990 to September 2007 for 18 years before he relinquished office prematurely. He is the Past Chairman of the Finance Houses Association of Sri Lanka in 1998, 1999 and 2000. He joined the Board of Directors of AFSL in June 2009 and now functions as the Executive Director.

The Executive Director highlighted that one of the key factors that contributed towards the success in deposit mobilization during the year is the "Abans Brand" backed by the strength of the Abans Group that is a household name in this country today.

"The Abans Group that comprises of well over 20 subsidiary companies has been a tower of strength for AFSL for all assistance that we receive from the parent company and other group companies" said Wanigasekara.

AFSL is a subsidiary of Abans Limited, a leading retailer of consumer electronics and household appliances in Sri Lanka that operates as exclusive franchise agents for the world's best brands, with over 300 showrooms as well as a widespread dealer network spanning every geographical location in Sri Lanka. Abans Limited is rated A - (lka) by the International Rating Agency , Fitch Ratings. Abans Group holds 93.3% of equity in AFSL.

Wanigasekara, further stated that the company is now geared to meet the challenges in the market place and the right strategies are in place to propel the business forward that will deliver the anticipated financial results in 2010/2011. He stressed that the company was one of the very few registered finance companies that has a Stated Capital of Rs. 370 Mn with a high Capital Adequacy ratio in the industry.

The success in deposit mobilization is to be carried out aggressively by the company to strengthen its investments in income generating activities. He expressed his confidence in maintaining a cntinuous growth in the public deposit base in the new financial year (2010/2011) as well, at comparatively low rates of interest that will in return assist the company to engage in lending activities at more favourable terms for customers.

The company operates with branches in Kandy, Badulla, Dambulla, Galle, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala, Gampaha, Ratnapura and its Head Office at No. 400, Galle Road, Colombo 3. Approximately 75% of the public deposits has been mobilized from its Head Office in Colombo and the balance 25% has come from its branches, according to the Executive Director. He announced that the company will be launching its next phase of growth in deposits from now onwards with the intention of ensuring a significant growth in the public deposit base in the FY 2010/11. The principal lines of business include the provision of Finance Leases, Hire Purchase Facilities, Business and Personal Loans.

The Directors of the company are Ms. Aban Pestonjee, (Chairperson), Rusi Pestonjee, (Alternate to the Chairperson), Ms. Mano Alles, (Managing Director), Kithsiri Wanigasekara,(Executive Director), Behman Pestonjee, Ms. Saroshi Dubash, S. Sothivadivel and Channa Pathirana.

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