Central Bank completes asset management company blueprint 

  • Policy likely to permit banks to move their non-performing portfolios

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has completed the preparation of the blueprint on forming a national asset management company as the policy paper that was presented with the CBSL annual report, The Morning Business learns. 

Speaking at the recently concluded CA Sri Lanka CEO’s Breakfast forum, CBSL Governor Deshamanya Prof. W.D. Lakshman stated: “We have already prepared the blueprint and it is being discussed by the monetary board as well as the Ministry of Finance,” indicating that in spite of the blueprint having been prepared by the CBSL, further steps with regard to the national asset management company would be taken following the discussions with the Monetary Board as well as the Ministry of Finance. 

Speaking on the CBSL policy paper on forming the national asset management, Fitch Ratings Head Maninda Wickramasinghe expressed his optimistic point of view. “In the CBSL annual report there is a policy paper that is being discussed about a national asset management company. I sincerely hope that enterprise can see the light of day,” he noted, emphasising that the CBSL policy on the aforementioned matter coming into effect would possibly bring financial advantage overall to the benefit of the country. 

Wickramasinghe further explained that a similar incident had taken place in 1997 in Malaysia after a crisis situation. The policy of Malaysia eventually resulted in allowing  the banks to move their non-performing portfolios. At the same time, the focus had been directed on lending as well as leaving the non-performing loan (NPL) recoveries, the recoveries from loans in which the default payment has not been made by the borrowers per its scheduled time period, to an agency. 

Elaborating further in the mentioned matter, he said: “I hope we can put this together. It is timely. The total NPLs in the banking and non-banking system is quite high,” hinting that CBSL is throwing light on a matter which is, in fact, a timely measure considering the current financial system in the country. 

Adding to what is being said thus far, Wickramasinghe stated: “As recently as 2009, countries like Spain and Ireland faced a similar situation where the countries addressed this (asset management).” 

Pinpointing on asset management, he said that it allows the restructured debt to international capital markets which Malaysia achieved. Accordingly, there is an opportunity for Sri Lanka in terms of asset management. 

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