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Thursday May 23rd, 2024

Sri Lanka’s HNB net up 2-pct in March 2024 quarter

ECONOMYNEXT – Profits at Sri Lanka’s Hatton National Bank, which also has an insurance unit grew 2 percent to 7.2 billion rupees in March 2024, helped by lower provisioning and its insurance unit, interim accounts show.

The reported earnings of 12.61 rupees for the quarter.

Net interest income at standalone bank level fell 30 percent to 21.9 billion rupees in the quarter the March 31, while interest income fell 20 percent to 60.2 billion rupees and interest expenses fell at a slower 13 percent to 38.2 billion rupees.

Hatton National Bank group net interest income was 25 billion rupees.

Customer loans were down 3 percent to 930 billion rupees. Debt and other instruments were up 19 percent to 549 billion rupees.

Impairment charges were 1.3 billion rupees, down from 11.3 billion last year.

Net fee and commission income was down 3 percent to 4.10 billion rupees.

Losses from trading was 4.1 billion rupees down from 7.2 billion rupees last year.

Insurance premium was 4.3 billion rupees, up 14 percent. Benefit and claims were 4.7 billion rupees, up 7 percent.

Group gross assets were up 1 percent to 2,063 billion rupees. Group net assets up 5 percent to 42.8 billion rupees.

Tier I capital was 14.48 percent, and total capital was 18.06 percent against required 9.5 percent to 13.5 percent.

“The Bank has provision to draw down further up to 250 bps on the capital conservation buffer under the concessions granted by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka,” the bank said. (Colombo/May15/2024)

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Sri Lanka plans to expand Bingiriya export zone to 1,100 acres

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is expanding an export processing zone in Bingiriya in Kurunegala and plans to link the area with Puttalam with roads and other infrastructure, Minister Bandula Gunawardana said.

A task force of ministerial secretaries will be appointed to carry out the tasks speedily, following a cabinet paper submitted by President Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

The Bingiriya zone already has 157 acres and another 282 acres is being developed by the Board of Investment, he said.

Steps would also be taken to acquire 666 acres.

There was no information whose lands would be acquired. (Colombo/May23/2024)

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Sri Lanka has power breakdowns amidst extreme weather

ECONOMYNEXT – The state-owned power utility, the Ceylon Electricity Board has reported over 36,900 breakdowns resulting in power interruptions to more than 300,000 consumers in the last three days due to inclement weather in the island, the power minister said.

“Additional service staff has been assigned to attend the breakdowns and the CEB management & service staff are working 24 hours to restore power to the affected consumers,” Minister of Power and Energy, Kanchana Wijesekera said on social media platform X (twitter).

Wijesekera said consumers could report power interruptions through the CEB hotline 1987, via SMS to 1987 with BD and the electricity consumer number to follow, or use the CEB Care app, or through http://cebcare.ceb.lk.

The South-East monsoon has seen floods, landslides and strong winds do damage to the utility provider’s infrastructure in the last week. (Colombo/May23?2024)

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Sri Lanka President calls for unity, sacrificing for a better tomorrow on Vesak day

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe has recalled a sermon from the Buddha about sacrificing for a better tomorrow, and called for unity to heal and rebuild the country, as Buddhists celebrate Vesak.

Buddhists celebrate Vesak as commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing away of the Buddha.

“At this challenging moment, we as a nation should cultivate the same great zeal for enlightenment that Buddha exemplified, inspired by his sermon, “Maththasukha parichchaga- passé che vipulan sukhan” – to sacrifice today for a better tomorrow,” President Wickremesinghe said in his Vesak day message.

“We must remember the advice of Lord Buddha, “Sabbattha Sammanaso,” to treat everyone equally and ensure we put it into practice as a country. This is the greatest offering we can present to the Buddha on this Vesak day.

“Regardless of race, religion, caste, or political affiliation, we must all unite to heal and rebuild our country. ”

The full statement is reproduced below:

The Vesak festival is a profoundly sacred day for Buddhists worldwide, commemorating the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and passing. Buddhists in Sri Lanka, along with their brethren around the globe, celebrate Vesak with deep devotion. They spend this period engaging in religious observances and venerating the Buddha with fervent devotion.

At this challenging moment, we as a nation should cultivate the same great zeal for enlightenment that Buddha exemplified, inspired by his sermon, “Maththasukha parichchaga- passé che vipulan sukhan” – to sacrifice today for a better tomorrow.

We must remember the advice of Lord Buddha, “Sabbattha Sammanaso,” to treat everyone equally and ensure we put it into practice as a country. This is the greatest offering we can present to the Buddha on this Vesak day. Regardless of race, religion, caste, or political affiliation, we must all unite to heal and rebuild our country. The principles of Lichchavi Raja Dharmaya will guide us in this endeavour.

Let us keep in mind that the primary aim of the Vesak festival is to foster spiritual growth and character development in a world rapidly advancing physically. I wish everyone a blessed Vesak festival.

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