Thursday, 23rd September 2021

SriLankan secured US$ 150 mn loan to repay Mashreq Bank

Sri Lanka: Standard Chartered Bank’s Commercial Banking Head Dushan Lawrence Casie Chetty said SriLankan Airlines had secured a US$ 150 million syndicated loan from a group of banks with Standard Chartered Bank’s London branch and the then government had given a sovereign guarantee of US$ 50 million.

He said this syndicated loan had been obtained for a number of requirements including the repayment of a loan obtained from Dubai’s Mashreq Bank.

Casie Chetty said the Standard Chartered Bank jointly with Al Hilal Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic, United Islamic, Noor Islamic Bank and Commercial Bank provided this syndicated loan to SriLankan Airlines and the repayment of the loan is now completed. He was giving evidence before the Presidential Commission investigating into the alleged fraud at the SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan catering and Mihin Lanka yesterday.

The Standard Chartered Bank Executive Director said then Civil Aviation Minister Priyankara Jayaratne had obtained Cabinet approval on April 13, 2013 with regard to the sovereign guarantee for the syndicated loan. He added former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who was also Finance Minister had given approval for SriLankan Airlines to secure the loan and the sovereign guarantee was issued by the Treasury under hands of then Deputy Treasury Secretary S.R.Attygalle.

Casie Chetty said legal expertise had been obtained from the Attorney General’s Department over issues related to the syndicate loan.

Standard Chartered Bank’s International Division Head Anoli Rathnayake said SriLankan Airlines had secured loans amounting to US$ 34.5 million in January 2017 and the repayment of these loans were completed in January the same year.

These senior officials of the Standard Chartered Bank submitted to the commission the documents related to these loans.

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