HNB PLC recently entered into an agreement with 'The Export-Import Bank of Korea' (KEXIM) to establish a revolving credit line of USD 50 Mn to finance trade between Sri Lanka and Korea. The master interbank credit agreement was signed in Colombo by Dr Ranee Jayamaha, Chairperson and Mr Jonathan Alles Managing Director/CEO on behalf of HNB and by Mr. Young-whan Sul, Senior Executive Director on behalf of Korea Exim Bank.
At the signing of the agreement, Dr. Ranee Jayamaha, chairperson of HNB PLC stated that "we are delighted to be the first bank in Sri Lanka to enter in to an agreement with Korea Exim Bank to support trade between the two countries".
Managing Director of HNB PLC, Mr. Jonathan Alles added that "with foreign trade between Sri Lanka and Korea growing significantly, the agreement entered into with KEXIM is timely and would enable HNB to pass on the benefit of attractive interest rates to customers".
"We intend developing a long term and strategic relationship with KEXIM to facilitate more trade between the two countries by bringing in more importers and exporters together, facilitating new trade partnerships through our alliance" Mr. Alles concluded.
KEXIM is an official export credit agency providing comprehensive export credit and guarantee programs to support Korean enterprises in conducting overseas business. Since its establishment in 1976, the bank has actively supported Korea's export-led economy and facilitated economic cooperation with foreign countries. KEXIM's primary services include export loans, trade finance, and guarantee programs structured to meet the needs of clients in a direct effort to both complement and strengthen the clients' competitiveness in global markets. KEXIM strives to become "The Global Financial Partner Connecting Korea to the World" as reflected in its vision by continuously fostering innovation and development throughout its operations. Korea Exim is rated AA- by Fitch, Aa3 by Moody's Investors Service and A+ by S&P.
HNB, being one of the premier private sector commercial banks in the Country with an asset base of over LKR 556 Bn, has continuously managed to attract foreign funding to support it balance sheet growth. HNB has been awarded by the Asian Banker Magazine as the 'Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka' for six consecutive years for its performance from 2007 to 2012 and named as the 'Bank of the Year in Sri Lanka' for the year 2012 & 2013 by the Banker Magazine of UK. In 2012 HNB became the first Sri Lankan bank to obtain an international credit rating and was assigned a foreign currency issuer rating of B1 on par with the sovereign rating by Moody's Investors Service, while it has a national long term rating of AA- (lka) by Fitch Ratings (Lanka) Ltd.