Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 20 September 2015





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ComBank ventures to the Maldives

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC hopes to extend its services to the Republic of Maldives following the receipt of regulatory approval for the setting up of a full-fledged Tier I Bank in the idyllic archipelago.

The bank has received approval from the Maldives Monetary Authority and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to set up a banking subsidiary in the Maldives.

The Maldives will be the third overseas banking operation of the Commercial Bank, after Bangladesh, which the Bank entered in 2003, and Myanmar where the Bank opened a Representative Office in June this year.

A Commercial Bank official said its subsidiary is to be named Commercial Bank of Maldives (Pvt) Limited and the Bank will have a 55% stake in the entity subject to Exchange Control and other regulatory approvals. A leading Maldivian group of companies will own the balance.

"We are delighted to receive a licence to operate a full-fledged banking subsidiary in the Maldives," Managing Director and CEO, Commercial Bank, Jegan Durairatnam said.

"Sri Lanka and the Maldives enjoy the closest possible bilateral relations and are linked by extremely strong economic ties. Sri Lankan companies operate hotels in the Maldives and large numbers of Sri Lankans are employed in the Maldivian hospitality industry. Sri Lanka provides services to the Maldivian visitors in many spheres including education and healthcare. It is, therefore, logical that a bank of the size and calibre of Commercial Bank has a presence in the Maldives," he said.

The Bank has already extended substantial offshore lending facilities from Colombo to businesses in the Maldives.

"Our entry strategy is to set up a single branch initially in Malé and, thereafter, increase our presence to up to three branches by the fifth year," he said. "Mobile units and ATMs will also be set up at strategic locations and technology will be used at the highest level to tackle the vast geographic distribution," he said.

The new bank will offer individuals and corporate entities in the Maldives a variety of financial services such as savings and current accounts, fixed deposits, personal loans, housing loans, credit cards, overdrafts, commercial loans, trade financing services, internet banking, mobile banking, remittances and foreign exchange.


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