The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

ICRA Lanka assigns [SL]A- with stable outlook to LOLC


ICRA Lanka Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of ICRA Ltd – an associate of Moody’s Investors Service, has assigned an Issuer rating of ‘[SL] A-’ with stable outlook to Lanka Orix Leasing Company PLC (LOLC). “The rating indicates adequate-credit-quality and the rated entity carries average credit risk. The rating in Sri Lanka is assigned on an eight-point scale developed specifically for the country, and ranges from ‘[SL] AAA’ to ‘[SL] D’. This rating scale ranks the relative default risk associated with issuers in Sri Lanka,” the rating agency said.

ICRA has taken note of the ongoing restructuring exercise where LOLC will transition into a holding company (HoldCo) and the finance businesses will be carried out in its subsidiaries, leading to moderation of the standalone earnings profile of the HoldCo as the existing lending portfolio runs down.

“However, given the significant operational and financial linkages with the subsidiaries (especially pertaining to financial services), ICRA Lanka has taken a consolidated rating view of the HoldCo and the key asset financing subsidiaries. The view is corroborated by the service level agreements between LOLC and its subsidiaries to upstream cash flows. LOLC’s standalone earnings would mainly comprise of shared services fees and dividends from subsidiaries and investment gains. ICRA has also taken note of the management’s commitment to de-leverage the HoldCo from the current gearing of 2x as on March 2012 to 1.2x by March 2013 by reducing intra-group exposures and the run-down of its lending book. Maintaining stable cash flows and a deleveraging of the HoldCo would remain key sensitivities,” the statement said.

It said the refinancing risk of the Group is low given the strong franchise, good relationship with lenders with adequate back-up lines, its liquid investment portfolio and the key subsidiaries’ access to retail deposits despite LOLC’s short term asset-liability maturity mismatch remaining high as short term borrowings have been used to fund long term investments.

Further, the Group is planning to raise long term funds from overseas lenders which would correct maturity gaps to an extent. ICRA also expects no major equity investments/ acquisitions by the HoldCo in the near term.

Share This Post

comments powered by Disqus

Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.