CIFL To List
Central Investments and Finance Ltd. (CIFL) in its 45 year history is approaching a landmark achievement by being listed at Colombo Stock Exchange, said its CEO Jayanth Wickremeratne in an interview recently.
The Company, intent on expansion of usual financing business, in which too it had a unique path-finding approach for its clientele since coming under present Chairman Prof. L R Amarasekera, has already ventured into diversification with a number of products and even conventional products with new approaches to meet customer needs as well as the needs of Sri Lanka’s development initiatives.
CIFL has successful progressed in the leasing and hire purchase business, mobilizing fixed deposits with unswerving customer confidence who have stood with them even during adverse economic conditions that prevailed in the recent past. The able guidance and even assistance of the Central Bank as regulator, have been contributory factors to the Company’s successes on top of the rapport it has built over the years with its customers.
In an environment with greater opportunities for new enterprises, CIFL believes that it has a responsibility to be a partner in the process and expand partnerships to a diverse clientele.
“Our greater concentration is on the SME and micro sectors, Wickremaratne said, adding that those need specific care and gearing in present-day economic trends and as a responsible financial service provider, we are gradually working ourselves towards clustering all appropriate ‘banking’ and financial services to those sectors under one roof. He said that plans are already underway to expand the micro-sector portfolio to LKR 630 million in the next two years. Towards this end, CIFL has diversified its conventional products to facilitate needs of the sectors it envisages to harness in the new environment. In such an endeavour, formal fixed deposits have been branded as “Mega”, “Kalin Polee” and “Senior Citizens”. Savings have been extended to benefit children with “Hero”.
Microfinance being the Company’s major concern, it has taken off with two branded products, “Danavaruna” and “Shathaka” that are designed to gear micro-sector clients graduating to “social entrepreneurship” with “Mudraa” (or Signature Project), a product designed to give hands-on training at collective project management. CIFL Microfinance has a holistic socio-economic development component included, whereby not only the portfolio performance is assured, but also the broader perspective of harnessing the micro-sector to be partners in Sri Lanka’s growth. Though not passionately canvassed, CIFL “Ran Udaana”, the product for pledge of gold jewellery will stand to supplement the Company’s ideals of gearing the small and micro-sector entrepreneurs by being available to protect them from exploitation.
CIFL will also rekindle its exposure in the real estate sector with long-term profitability concept, where it shall gradually exploit the potential through emerging opportunities in the tourism industry. To ensure performance quality and transparency of its activities, the company has availed the services of professionals Kalinga Indatissa and Lakshman Rupasinghe as Board Members since January.
Thus CIFL, the company with a high degree of responsibility to the country, clientele and its shareholders, is venturing into an Initial Public Offering of shares shortly with the greenlight from the Central Bank and is looking to demonstrate its expanded vision and expertise as a service provider in a broad spectrum of the country’s socio-economic well-being, Wickremeratne said.