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Orient Finance to raise Rs.400mn via rights to strengthen capital base

16 January 2017 09:13 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Janashakthi group subsidiary, Orient Finance PLC, plans to raise up to Rs.400 million via a proposed rights issue to strengthen its Tier II capital, a disclosure filed with the Colombo Stock Exchange said. 
The company has called an Extraordinary General Meeting on January 20 to obtain the shareholder consent to the proposed share issue. 
However, Janashakthi PLC controls an 89.81 percent stake in the company with another 1.62 percent held by Dunamis Capital PLC, another Janashakthi group entity. 
B G Investments Private Limited held another 3.15 percent stake being the second largest shareholder.  
The proposed rights issue is by way of preference shares redeemable in five years and each existing shareholder will receive one new share at an issue price of Rs.100 a share for every 37 existing ordinary shares held. 
However, the shareholders have the option to subscribe for additional shares or renounce one’s rights in favour of a third party, the company stated.  
As of September 30, 2016, the company had 148 million ordinary shares. The company’s share is now trading around Rs.13.90. Generally the rights price is less than the market price per share but in this case the former is significantly higher than the trading value of the share. 
This could be due to the fact that the rights are being issued by way of preference shares, which get precedence over ordinary shares in the case of a liquidation and receive a fixed dividend, hence less risky than an ordinary share. 
The company said these preference shares would not be listed in the stock exchange. 
The proceeds will be used for lending purposes. 
As of September 30, 2016, Orient Finance had an equity capital base of Rs.2.38 billion. 
The Central Bank this month announced its intentions to increase the minimum Tier I capital of licensed finance companies up to Rs.2.0 billion from the current Rs.400 million. 
A formal directive to that effect is expected soon. 
The regulatory minimum Tier I and Tier II capital adequacy ratios for licensed finance companies and licensed banks stand at 5 percent and 10 percent, respectively. 
The liquidity ratios will also be raised.
Orient Finance has a total asset base of Rs.18.5 billion and a loans and receivable book of Rs.15.5 billion, which grew by little under Rs.2.0 billion during the 1H17.  
The company earned a net profit of Rs.1.06 a share, 63 percent lower from the same period last year as provisions for bad loans and costs surged.
The licensed finance companies could see higher regulatory supervision by the Central Bank while the industry could brace for tougher times ahead with tightened monetary conditions and the sector being also forced for consolidation. 

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