BOC to get Euro 30 M Credit Line from France
BY ISHARA GAMAGE
Sri Lanka’s State-owned banking giant Bank of Ceylon (BOC) is currently successfully managing the Nation’s foreign exchange needs, Deputy General Manager (International, Treasury and Investment) of BOC, R.M.N. Jeewantha told Ceylon FT.
He also said all arrangements have been made to obtain a 30 million soft Euro loan soon for the development of small and medium scale industries in the country through a French financial institution. The Bank recently successfully raised US$ 115 million through China Development Bank (CDB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). “We are currently gaining more than 42 per cent market share in the remittance market.
Apart from that we are also managing our export earnings through the Bank well. Through this, we are fulfilling the foreign exchange needs of all our public and private sectors on time without jeopardising the Bank and the national economy,” he said. He also said while prioritising BOC account holders in opening Letters of Credit (LCs), BOC would also prioritise other parties as per national requirements.
“We provide the highest government protection and the highest returns on our foreign currency deposits. Due to this, “Special Deposit accounts (SDAs)” have recently been able to offer the highest attractiveness and highest returns.” BOC has also taken steps to provide low interest loans and other special benefits to migrant workers who have foreign currency accounts with the Bank.
Jeewantha said BOC has successfully managed the country›s large-scale foreign exchange payments in recent days. “We successfully managed all large-scale payments of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) as well as other daily foreign exchange payments for the pharmaceutical sector related to the vaccination process in the country without any delays,” he said. “As the largest Commercial Bank in Sri Lanka, all parties have confidence in the Bank.
Despite the difficulties in the country›s foreign exchange market, we were managing our dollars well, while overcoming some of the difficulties which we faced last year,” he added. Sri Lanka’s workers’ remittances continued its growth momentum in May 2021. Accordingly, workers’ remittances increased by 6.6 % in May 2021, year-on-year, to US dollars 460 B. According to Central bank workers’ remittances during the first five months of the year recorded a notable growth of 18.2 %, year on-year, to US dollars 2.8 B, partly due to the low base effect.
“During the first six months of this year; we were able to grab 42 per cent of the total remittances market. This can be considered a unique record in the current pandemic environment,” he said. “We have established large business promotion offices and agencies worldwide. At present, there are 25 representatives from 10 countries. These people are doing great work to bring these remittances to the country.
Last year, we entered into agreements with two institutions regarding these remittances. It is expected to sign an agreement with another remittance agency to cover the Eurozone this year. It coincides with our 82nd anniversary and will be operational from 1 August, covering the entire Eurozone,» he said. Under the new agreement, the Bank plans to cover the entire European continent, which is not covered through the UK subsidiary. Through this, the Bank aims to grab at least 50 per cent of the country’s remittance market, DGM Jeewantha concluded.