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
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
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.