Bank Trends

Nov 17, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Commercial Bank group net profit for the September quarter rose 6.81 percent to 937.5 million rupees from a year ago although loan growth was slowing, interest margins were eroding and bad loans increasing. Total group income for the quarter rose almost 19 percent to 11.2 billion rupees, according to a stock exchange filing.

Net interest income went up almost six percent to 3.3 billion rupees with interest income up 16 percent to 9.5 billion rupees while interest expenses rose 22 percent to 6.2 billion rupees.

At bank level, the results showed that interest margin fell to 4.53 percent as at September 30, 2008 from 4.70 percent at December 31, 2007.

Group net profit for the nine months ending September 30, 2008 was stagnant at just over three billion rupees compared with the same period a year ago.

Commercial Bank’s Chief Financial Officer Nandika Buddhipala said higher provisioning for debt, slower loan growth and an increase in financial value-added tax had slowed profit growth in the nine months ended September 30, 2008.

Total deposits of the group rose almost seven percent to 195.8 billion rupees as at September 30, 2008, from 183.1 billion rupees as at December 31, 2007.