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Saturday June 3rd, 2023

Sri Lanka’s Bank of Ceylon profits up 25.3-pct in Dec-2022

ECONOMYNEXT- State-run Bank of Ceylon (BoC), the largest lender in Sri Lanka has recorded a net profit of 13.1 billion rupees for the December quarter, up 25.3 percent a year ago mainly supported by the tax reversals.

Total income for the quarter grew 80 percent to 146.3 billion rupees.The bank’s bonds are listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange.

Interest income in the quarter grew by 84.9 percent to 134.4 billion rupees and interest expenses grew at a faster 173.6 percent to 115.1 billion rupees, squeezing net interest income, which fell 36.9 percent to 19.2 billion rupees.

“The upsurge in deposit rates increased the cost of funding, YoY interest expense hiked by 121 percent and as considerable portion of FDs are reprised by now, during the latter part of this year interest expense moved up by nearly threefold than previous year,” the bank said in an interim review.

The group loan book fell 3.7 percent to 2.3 trillion rupees, from a year ago while deposits rose 16.4 percent to 3.4 trillion rupees.

Provisioning for bad loans and advances grew 20.6 percent to 5.3 billion rupees

“The impairment provision made to compensate the ECL from loans and advances amounted to Rs.70.7 billion during the year ended 31 December 2022,” the bank said.

“Consequently, the gross loans to impairment provision reserve ratio stood at 10 percent against the 6 percent reported by end 2021.

The bank had provided for both sovereign bonds and Sri Lanka Development Bonds.

Bank-level bad loans grew to 5.27 percent from 5.08 percent a year earlier.

Net fee and commission income fell 8.7 percent to 4.6 billion rupees. Net gains from trading grew 206.7 percent to1.2 million rupees.

“As rupee depreciation is around 81 percent for the period, net exchange gains derived through trading activities and currency conversion represents considerable portion in non-fund based income…” the bank said.

Profit before income tax was down 56.5 percent to 3.68 billion rupees.

There was a 9.4 billion rupee income tax reversal in the quarter, compared to a tax expense of 2.1 billion rupees a year earlier.

“VAT on financial services for the year increased by 22 percent to 11.0 billion rupees as the VAT rate increased from 15 percent to 18 percent,”

“The Bank paid 281.3 million rupees to newly introduced Social Security Contribution Levy of 2.5 percent during the year while paying 6.7 billion rupees as the Surcharge tax imposed as on-off tax charge during the year.

“Deferred tax adjustment of 14.5 billion rupees was made during the year mainly due to deferred tax booked on specific provision made on foreign currency denominated sovereign instruments, loans and advances and adjustment made on current tax rate in line with increase of income tax rate from 24 percent to 30 percent.”

Net assets at end-December stood at 271.4 billion rupees, up 27 percent.

Return on Assets (ROA) ratio of the Bank stood at 0.76 percent while reporting a 14.1 percnet Return on Equity (ROE) ratio resulting a decline YoY as the bottom-line performance of this year is in low scale than previous year.

Tier I Capital was at 12.4 percent in December 2022, down from 14.25 percent and Total Capital ratio was at 15.4 percent down from 17.7 percent from a year ago. (Colombo/Mar02/2023)

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Sri Lanka to ramp up weekend fuel deliveries after petrol price cut

More deaths reported at Sri Lanka fuel queues

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation will be operating on the weekend to complete all fuel deliveries to end vehicle queues forming outside fuel stations after the price revision earlier in the week, Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said.

“Instructions have been given to CPC and Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals to continue fuel deliveries on Saturday and Sunday this week to supply sufficient stocks to all fuel stations,” Minister Wijesekera said in a TWITTER.COM MESSAGE

“To reduce expenses on overtime, CPC and CPSTL have not been operating on Sundays and public holidays in the last 4 months,” Wijesekera said.

“Non-placement of orders by fuel stations from last Saturday, anticipating a price reduction, not maintaining minimum stocks, immediate increase in demand by consumers after the price revision, and quota increase have created shortages in the fuel stations.”

The Minister in April 2023 said all fuel stations would be required to maintain a minimum of 50 percent of stock tank capacity.

“I have asked CPC to review and suspend the license of fuel stations that had not maintained minimum stocks.” (Colombo/ June 02/ 2023)

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Sri Lanka bonds yield up at close, rupee at 291.75/292.50 against the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s bonds closed steady on Friday, dealers said, following the central bank’s decision to cut its main policy rate by 250 basis points.

The Spot US dollar closed at 291.75/292.50 rupees, dealers said.

The rupee opened at 290.25/75 to the US dollar Thursday and closed at 292.50/295.50 to the US dollar.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed at 24.70/90 percent up from 24.50/90 percent a day earlier, dealers said.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2026 closed at 25.75/26.25 percent up from 25.00/26.00 percent a day earlier.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2025 closed at 27.00/30 percent, up from 26.30/27.00 per cent at last close.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2032 closed at 20.25/21.00 percent, up from 20.00/40 per cent at last close.
(Colombo/ June 02/2023)

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Sri Lanka’s shares edge up on positive macroeconomic sentiments

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s shares closed higher in trade on Friday, over positive macro-sentiments encouraging investors to redeem their interest towards buying, an analyst said.

The main All Share Price Index was up 0.72 percent or 62.19 points to 8,753.80,  while the most liquid index S&P SL20 was up 0.68 percent or 16.87 points to 2,487.29.

Sri Lanka’s inflation in the 12-months to May 2023 has eased to 25.2 percent from 35.3 percent a month earlier according to a revised Colombo Consumer Price Index calculated by the state statistics office.

Prior to the Monetary Policy investors were quite optimistic that inflation is to lower and interest rates will decrease and since exp, an analyst said.

Sri Lanka Central Bank is waiting for the government proposal on the domestic debt restructuring (DDR), the central bank governor Nandalal Weerasinghe said amid uncertainty over DDR and speculations over instability in the banking sector.

“On debt restructuring, the borrower is the ministry of finance’s treasury. Certainly we will announce what the strategy will be. We are waiting for a government proposal,” Weerasinghe said.

Sri Lanka’s investors are waiting on assurances to be made on debt restructuring and optimization, Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe said, “It is up to the government to clear the uncertainty, because from our side we have done that part.”

The central bank cut the key policy rates by 250 basis points to spur a faltering economic growth as inflation was decelerating faster than it projected.

The speculation of DDR has hit the market and the risk premium has kept the market lending rates well above the central bank’s policy rates. The government has yet to present its plans on DDR.

Weerasinghe said the central bank has done its best to reduce the risk premium through bringing down the market lending rates while keeping the policy rates unchanged.

Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe has discussed progress of International Monetary Fund program and debt restructuring during a visit of Deputy Managing Director Kenji Okamura, statement said.

“The discussion primarily focused on the progress of the IMF program between Sri Lanka and the IMF,” a statement from President’s office said.

“Attention was also paid to the on-going debt restructuring negotiations.”

However Officials from IMF have said Sri Lanka has to focus on expanding taxes.

“We discussed the importance of fiscal measures, in particular revenue measures, for a return to macroeconomic stability,” Deputy Managing Director Kenji Okamura said in a statement.

The finance ministry this week issued rules requiring everyone above 18 year of age to register to pay income tax.

“I was encouraged by the authorities’ commitment to negotiate a debt strategy in a timely and transparent manner.

The market generated a revenue of 738 million rupees, while the daily average was 1 billion rupees.

Top gainers in trade were Vallibel One, LOLC Finance and Browns Investment. (Colombo/June02/2023)

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