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Best Bank Awards

Sri Lanka's best corporate and investment bank 2020: NDB Investment Bank

NDB Investment Bank

NDB Investment Bank, led by chief executive Darshan Perera, is rather brazenly described by its staff as the Goldman Sachs of Sri Lanka. It raised SLRs62 billion ($340 million) for its clients in 2019, and increased its fee income by 69% over the previous year.

This growth is outstanding enough, but it is especially laudable in the face of the difficult economic backdrop in Sri Lanka in 2019.

The investment bank reported healthy levels of activity across the board and, as a testament to its skills, more than 60% of the transactions came from repeat clients.

Of the bank’s 2019 revenue, 48% came from securitizations and structured debt, 28% from equity, mergers and acquisitions and corporate advisory, and 24% from debentures, loans and other debt instruments.

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

Notable transactions include a $25 million syndicated loan facility for Indocean Developers, the developer of Sri Lanka’s residential Altair Twin Tower, as well as the first Basel III compliant unlisted term debt issue in Sri Lanka for Sanasa Development Bank, worth $18 million.

The Altair loan is an excellent example of NDBIB’s skill in finding funding for its clients. The twin-tower project consists of a 68-floor vertical tower and a 63-floor leaning tower. Because of the second tower’s construction, there were rumours that the integrity of the building was compromised. NDBIB brought in an engineering team to confirm the building’s strength and comfort investors. It also had an independent quantity surveyor determine the cost of completion for the project to make sure that the loan completely covered the cost of development.

NDBIB has a regional profile as well, particularly in the Maldives and Bangladesh. It was the sole financial adviser and manager for the IPO of Maldives Islamic Bank, which raised $16 million. NDBIB was also the sole financial adviser for Lotus Renewable Energy, the subsidiary of Singapore-based G&G Group, on its acquisition of Hatton Plantations for SLRs2 billion.

Having these other markets, with fee-generating products and merger and acquisition transactions, will help NDBIB maintain its market leadership, particularly if Sri Lanka faces further downturns.

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