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Bank of Ceylon to focus on mergers and acquisitions

The Bank of Ceylon (BOC) will focus on mergers and acquisitions in pushing towards an one trillion rupee balance sheet and a Rs. 10 billion profit having "already earmarked certain industries and companies of interest" to achieve the synergies and asset growth necessary to reach this target, the bank’s chairman Dr. Gamini Wickramasinghe said.

BOC recently launched its medium term corporate plan taking into account the dramatic shift of the country’s post-war economic potential, the 100% state- owned commercial bank said in a news release.

BOC together with the People’s Bank dominates the country’s commercial banking sector holding what the bank itself describes as a "hefty asset base plus extensive reach."

Labeled the `One 10 Twelve Renaissance’, the bank said that new opportunities to be explored include investment banking, mutual funds, private banking, wealth management, mergers and acquisitions and Islamic banking that have been identified as avenues for growth.

BOC will also be expanding its UK operations as a platform for global banking.

The bank is targeting a trillion rupee balance sheet and ten billion rupees profits by 2012 under this strategy that will make commercial banking and interest based revenues relatively less prominent than now as other fee based incomes are explored more actively.

"The whole bank including its senior managers, branch managers and through them the staff has reached a unified understanding of this three-year strategic transformation," BOC said.

Wickramasinghe stressed that the whole bank will carry out this transformation strategy in line with its strategies impacting on various economic sectors.

"Achieving the envisaged growth and expansion through financial intermediation business will mean that we will have to extend concentrated efforts in commercial and development banking services. As are already surrounded by a deeply customer-centric banking sector we seek to actively embrace a new selling culture," he said.

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