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Friday January 27th, 2023

Fitch downgrades 10 Sri Lankan Banks after local sovereign rating cut

ECONOMYNEXT – Fitch Ratings said it had downgraded 10 Sri Lanka banks following a re-caliberation of the local currency sovereign rating.

All 10 banks on rating watch negative.

The full statement is reproduced below:

Fitch Ratings – Colombo – 12 Jan 2023: Fitch Ratings has downgraded the National LongTerm Ratings of 10 Sri Lankan banks following the recent sovereign downgrade and recalibration of the agency’s Sri Lankan national rating scale.

The recalibration is to reflect changes in the relative creditworthiness among Sri Lankan issuers following Fitch’s downgrade of Sri Lanka’s Long-Term Local Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to ‘CC’ from ‘CCC’/Under Criteria Observation on 1 December 2022. Fitch typically does not assign Outlooks or apply modifiers to sovereigns with a rating of ‘CCC+’ or below.

National scale ratings are a risk ranking of issuers in a particular market designed to help local investors differentiate risk. Sri Lanka’s national scale ratings are denoted by the unique identifier ‘(lka)’.

Fitch adds this identifier to reflect the unique nature of the Sri Lankan national scale. National scales are not comparable with Fitch’s international rating scales or with other countries’ national rating scales. For details, see Fitch Ratings Recalibrates Sri Lanka’s National Rating Scale, dated 19 December 2022.

The National Ratings of the Sri Lankan banks consider their creditworthiness relative to other issuers in the country. The recalibration of the Sri Lankan National Rating scale has resulted in downgrades of the National Long-Term Ratings of the following banks:

Bank of Ceylon (BOC) to ‘A(lka)’/Rating Watch Negative (RWN) from ‘AA-(lka)’/RWN

People’s Bank (Sri Lanka) (PB) to ‘A(lka)’/RWN from ‘AA-(lka)’/RWN

Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC (CB) to ‘A(lka)’/RWN from ‘AA-(lka)’/RWN

Hatton National Bank PLC (HNB) to ‘A(lka)’/RWN from ‘AA-(lka)’/RWN

Sampath Bank PLC (Sampath) to ‘A(lka)’/RWN from ‘AA-(lka)’/RWN

Cargills Bank Limited (CBL) to ‘A(lka)’/RWN from ‘A+(lka)’/RWN

DFCC Bank PLC (DFCC) to ‘A-(lka)’/RWN from ‘A+(lka)’/RWN

National Development Bank PLC (NDB) to ‘A-(lka)’/RWN from ‘A(lka)’/RWN

Seylan Bank PLC (Seylan) to ‘A-(lka)’/RWN from ‘A(lka)’/RWN

Nations Trust Bank PLC (NTB) to ‘A-(lka)’/RWN from ‘A(lka)’/RWN

A full list of ratings is at the end of this commentary.

Other Sri Lankan banks’ national ratings, which are not mentioned in this commentary, have not been affected by the recalibration exercise.

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  1. sacre blieu says:

    Macabre is the word, and even the private sector is responsible for the impending collapse of the banking sector, what with all kinds of interests, influences and political pressure, to create the section referred to as “Honda Sully Karayo”. Many people have been screwed by the government-sponsored banks of the SMEs, who are now unable to withdraw their monies deposited in good faith. Fraud and corruption are the banks’ principles and practice.

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  1. sacre blieu says:

    Macabre is the word, and even the private sector is responsible for the impending collapse of the banking sector, what with all kinds of interests, influences and political pressure, to create the section referred to as “Honda Sully Karayo”. Many people have been screwed by the government-sponsored banks of the SMEs, who are now unable to withdraw their monies deposited in good faith. Fraud and corruption are the banks’ principles and practice.

Sri Lanka’s Dialog Axiata hopes to hold prices despite rising costs

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Dialog Axiata hopes to hold prices despite higher taxes, rising costs like energy, officials said as the country goes through the worst currency crisis in the history of its intermediate regime central bank.

High inflation following a collapse of the currency has reduced real incomes of customers.

“There are many factors to consider, especially with the last price increase we did in last year did not resulted in a significant increase in revenue” Pradeep De Almeida · Group Chief Technology Officer at Dialog Axiata said at the launch of its Future zone at Lotus tower.

In September,2022 following an electricity tarrif hike dialog increased its tariffs on Mobile, Fixed Telephone, Broadband Plans and Value Added Services (Prepaid and Postpaid) by 20 percent while tariffs on all Pay Television Services were raised 25 percent.

Value Added Tax (VAT) was also raised by the government from 12 percent to 15 percent on all Telecommunications and Pay TV services.

“Even though we increase the prices we only saw around 8-9 percent increase in revenue,” Almeida said.

“That is because many users cut off their usage to limit the spending”.

Dialog will increase efficiencies and manage costs in an attempt to avoid prices increases for customers, he said.

Over the 24 months to December 2022, Sri Lanka;s central bank has generated inflation of 76 percent, based on the Colombo Consumer Price Index official data shows. Following the currency collapse, more power tariff hikes are planned.

“We are trying to mainly bear the cost from our side. We are getting a massive support from our parent company Telekom Malaysia International,” Navin Peiris, Group Chief Enterprise Officer at Dialog told EconomyNext.

“Therefore as of now, there is no plan to increase prices”. (Colombo/Jan 26/2023)

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Sri Lanka shares fall at market close on profit taking

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka shares fell on Thursday as profit taking entered the market mainly on financial and diversified sectors, brokers said.

The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) fell 0.13 percent or 11.50 points to close at 8,926.56.

“The market was trading on dull trade mainly due to profit taking,” an analyst said.

“Also we saw investors taking a sideline as quarterly reports started to come”.

The earnings in the first quarter of 2023 are expected to be negative with revised up taxes and an imminent electricity tariff hike.

Earnings in the second quarter are expected to be more positive with the anticipation of IMF loan and possible reduction in the market interest rates as the tax revenue has started to generate funds.

The central bank’s policy decision was expected and investors have been eying on IMF deal with hopes of rapid economic recovery from the current unprecedented economic crisis, however since the market gained in the last sessions profit taking has come about, analysts said.

The market has been on a rising trend on the hopes of a faster IMF deal. However, the central bank government said the IMF deal is likely in the quarter or in the first month of the second quarter.

The most liquid index S&P SL20 fell  0.33 percent or 9.21 points to 2,798.

LOLC had seen some attention by investors as the firm disposed 90,256,750 shares held with Agstar PLC at 15-17.50 rupees a share.

The market witnessed a turnover of 1.2 billion rupees, lower than the month’s daily average of 1.9 billion rupees.

Expolanka dragging the market down closed 2.36 percent down at 186.7 rupees a share. Sampath bank fell 1.41 percent to close at 42 rupees a share while Royal Ceramic Lanka closed 2.59 percent dwn at 30.1 rupees a share.

(Colombo/Jan26/2023)

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Sri Lanka bonds yields steady at close

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka bond yields were steady at close on Thursday, dealers said, while a guidance peg for interbank transactions by the Central Bank remained steady.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2024 closed at 31.00/20 percent unchanged from the last close.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2026 closed at 26.60/90 percent, up from 28.50/70 percent on Wednesday.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed at 28.60/85 percent, up from 28.50/60 percent at the last close.

The three months bill closed at 29.75/30.25 percent unchanged from the last close.

The Central Bank’s guidance peg for interbank US dollar transactions appreciated by another 2 cents to 362.14 rupees against the US dollar.

Commercial banks offered dollars for telegraphic transfers at 360.49 rupees on Thursday, data showed.  (Colombo/Jan 26/2022)

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