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Best Bank Awards

Sri Lanka's best corporate and investment bank 2019: NDB Investment Bank

NDB Investment Bank

Sri Lanka’s capital markets are shallow by regional standards. Chunky initial public offerings and M&A deals are rare, while most debt sales are limited in scale. Yet the industry has talent, as demonstrated by NDB Investment Bank.

Whenever a deal is announced, be it of the pioneering or the run-of-the-mill variety, the Colombo-based investment bank is likely to be involved. During the review period, NDBIB raised SLRs60 billion ($335 million) for its clients, marking a year-on-year increase of 10%. Given the lack of a standout deal in 2018 – no big-ticket IPO or outsized M&A transaction – the investment bank channelled its resources into the deals that mattered most.

Darshan Perera, CEO, NDB Investment Bank.jpg
Darshan Perera, NDB Investment Bank

Vajira Kulatilaka, NDB Investment Banking Cluster chief executive, and Darshan Perera, NDB Investment Bank chief executive, pointed to a host of notable deals finalized during the review period when they spoke with Asiamoney in Colombo; most of these deals involved local firms restructuring or buying local or foreign assets, and foreign investors tapping into south Asia’s freest and most open market.

They highlighted NDBIB’s role as financial adviser to state-run lender HDFC Bank’s sale of additional tier-1, Basel III-compliant bonds and, in November 2018, as joint manager on National Savings Bank’s $100 million capital-raising, the first fully offshore US dollar-denominated debt sale by a Sri Lankan lender.

Other milestone deals include the acquisition of People’s Merchant Finance by Sterling Group, with NDBIB advising the Japanese buyer in a deal that included a SLRs1.4 billion equity infusion. It also advised Dubai-based Al-Futtaim Group, helping to flesh out a sustainable strategy for its local unit AMW Capital Leasing, and securing a mandate to restructure and refinance SLRs7 billion of the non-bank finance company’s debt.

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