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Sri Lanka’s Union Bank June net up 7-pct, weighed down by new tax rules

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s listed Union Bank of Colombo said profits grew 7 percent from a year earlier to 134.3 million rupees in the June 2018 quarter on improving interest margins despite a sharp rise in tax costs.

"Profits were adversely impacted due to the changes in the tax regulations subsequent to the New Inland Revenue Act enforcement," the bank said in a statement filed with the stock exchange.

The bank reported earnings of 12 cents a share. Earnings were 25 cents a share for the six months to end June 2018 with net interest income growing 17 percent from a year earlier to 2.2 billion rupees in the six month period, interim results filed with the Colombo Stock Exchange showed.

Union Bank closed 10 cents lower to 12.30 rupees on Tuesday.

Income tax expenses grew 131 percent to 103.6 million rupees.

"The effective tax rate for the June quarter increased significantly in comparison to the previous quarter. This is mainly due to the withdrawal of tax exemptions on profits made out of Sri Lanka Development Bonds and corporate debt instruments invested prior to the tax changes and withdrawal in the notional tax credits," the bank said in a statement accompanying the interim results.

The bank saw interest income grow 17 percent from a year earlier to 3.4 billion rupees in the June quarter with interest expenses growing a slower 14 percent to 2.3 billion rupees, leading to a 22 percent growth in net interest income to 1.1 billion rupees.

"Both net interest margins and spreads depicted an improvement. This was despite the withdrawal of the notional tax credit which bears a direct impact on the interest income earned on the government securities portfolio carried prior to the change in the tax regulations," the bank said.

The bank’s interest margin improved to 3.06 percent at end June 2018, up from 2.87 percent at end December.

Net fee and commission income grew 16 percent from a year earlier to 217.9 million rupees in the June 2018 quarter.





Provisioning for bad loans increased 84.5 percent to 109.4 million rupees.

Personnel expenses grew 11 percent to 522.6 million rupees and depreciation charges fell 1 percent to 103.8 million rupees.

Other expenses grew 17 percent to 459.6 million rupees.

The bank reported a loss of 80.9 million rupees from revaluating financial assets, compared to a 350.4 million gain a year earlier.

The bank’s loan book expanded 3 percent from a year earlier to 81.2 billion rupees as at end June 2018.

Public deposits fell a marginal 0.18 percent to 76.6 billion rupees.

The bank reported a Basel III Tier 1 Capital Ratio of 18.93 percent at end June 2018, higher than the 7.875 percent minimum regulatory requirement.

Total capital adequacy was 18.93 percent, above the 11.875 percent Basel III minimum requirement.

Gross non-performing loans increased to 3.18 percent of total loans at end June 2018, compared to 2.69 percent at end December 2017. (COLOMBO, 25 July 2018)


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