Fitch Ratings Lanka has maintained MCSL Financial Services Limited’s (MFSL) National Long-Term Rating of ‘BBB(lka)’ on Rating Watch Positive (RWP) as Fitch expects the merger of MFSL, MBSL Savings Bank Limited and Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka to be concluded within the first quarter of 2015.
Significant progress has been made since the merger announcement in March 2014, including securing the necessary shareholder approval at the extraordinary general meeting held on 13 October 2014, setting the share swap ratios and adoption of new articles of association. In addition, the surviving entity has been renamed to Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka & Finance PLC (MBSF).
MFSL was placed on RWP after Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka announced its proposed merger with MFSL and another company, all of which are subsidiaries of Bank of Ceylon (BOC: AA+(lka)/Stable).
The RWP reflects Fitch’s expectations that MFSL, as part of the surviving entity MBSF, will be of greater importance to the BOC group than MFSL on its own. This is based on BOC continuing to be the dominant shareholder in the merged entity - Fitch expects BOC to directly own 74 percent of MBSF compared with its current 50.1 percent direct holding and 80 percent effective holding in MFSL.
MBSF will operate as a licensed finance company focusing on vehicle financing activities