ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Sampath Bank said its net profits for the December 2018 quarter fell 31.8 percent to 2.7 billion rupees from a year earlier amid a steep write-down of bad loans.
The firm’s earnings per share for the quarter were 9.88 rupees, interim financials released at the Colombo Stock Exchange said. Net profits for the 2018 year fell 0.6 percent to 12.6 billion rupees with earnings per share of 46.85 rupees.
Sampath Bank’s share was trading at 238 rupees, Friday.
Interest income for the December 2018 quarter grew 20.7 percent to 28 billion rupees from 2017, while interest expenses grew 11.9 percent to 16.4 billion rupees and gross interest income grew 35.5 percent to 11.6 billion rupees.
Other operating income was up 306.2 percent to 2.8 billion rupees.
The firm’s loan book grew 15.3 percent from a year earlier to 675.9 billion rupees at end-December.
A change in accounting standards saw provisions for bad loans in the quarter grow to 4.2 billion rupees from 370.5 million rupees a year earlier.
"The bank’s loan growth slowed down during the year predominantly due to low credit demand," a statement said.
Over the year to December, group gross loans grew from 595 billion rupees to 697 billion rupees and non-performing loans grew from 9.3 billion rupees to 21 billion rupees.
Bad loans as a portion of total loans grew to 3.69 percent from 1.64 percent a year earlier.
The bank said weak economic conditions resulted in falling credit quality.
The Central Bank printed money in April to cut rates, just as the credit system recovered from a 2015/2016 balance of payments crisis, triggering another run on the rupee.
The Central Bank is targeting inflation (cutting rates saying inflation was low) despite having mutliple convertibility undertakings (a peg), with predictable results.
Deposits grew 10.2 percent from a year earlier to 699.7 billion rupees.
Sampath Bank’s core capital adequacy ratio grew to 12.08 percent from 10.26 percent a year earlier, against a regulatory minimum of 8.875 percent with new funds being raised.
Total capital adequacy ratio grew to 15.73 percent from 14.41 percent against a regulatory minimum of 12.875 percent.
Sampath’s asset base grew 15 percent to 947.8 billion rupees, while net assets per share were up 1.1 percent to 320.58 rupees. (Colombo/Feb15/2019-SB)