Bank Gain

February, 19 (LBO) – Hatton National Bank group profits rose 26 percent in 2006, with revenue growing by 27.5 percent and assets reaching 206 billion rupees, the bank said Monday. The latest results had pushed earnings per share to 19.01.

Group net profit after tax and minority interest grew to 2.2 billion rupees from 1.7 billion while revenue grew to 23.2 billion from 18.2 billion.

The bank’s after-tax profit rose 34 percent to 2.2 billion rupees despite a 799 million rupee charge for corporate taxes.

Net Interest Income was up 26 percent and Fee & Commission Income was up 78 percent.

Foreign Exchange gains had brought in 792 million rupees, growing by 22 percent.

Total advances had grown by 21 billion to 136 billion, with HNB’s stand-alone assets growing to 196 billion rupees.

The bank says its asset quality has improved over the year.

Non performing advances, net provisions was down to 2.27 percent from 3.05 percent in 2005 and provision cover was 74 percent.

“The continued focus on cost management has led to operating costs – including provision for bad and doubtful debts, and bad debt write-offs – increasing by only 11.5 percent