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Sri Lanka's best bank for SMEs 2021: Commercial Bank of Ceylon

Commercial Bank of Ceylon

S Renganathan, Commercial Bank of Ceylon.jpg
S Renganathan, Commercial Bank of Ceylon

More than three quarters of Sri Lanka's enterprises are in the small and medium-sized category. They form the backbone of the economy but tend to be the hardest hit by unexpected shocks. Those that relied on tourism were knocked hard by the Easter Sunday bomb attacks in 2019; in many cases, their debt moratoriums extended into 2020 when the pandemic broke out.

Throughout it all, the Commercial Bank of Ceylon, led by chief executive S Renganathan, has supported Sri Lanka's SMEs. During a year when the bank celebrated its centenary, its total SME loan portfolio grew 7.9% to reach SLRs191.6 billion ($970 million) at the end of December 2020.

Among its many initiatives, the bank offered SME customers extra support last year, including through working capital loans. Working with the central bank, the Commercial Bank of Ceylon distributed 5,387 loans worth a total of SLRs26.6 billion in 2020. The bank also approached the World Bank's International Finance Corporation for a $50 million loan, with the intention of helping SMEs: One third of those funds have been dedicated to businesses owned by women and altogether, 106 loans worth SLRs1.5

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