Banking Woes

March 02, 2009(LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Seylan Bank said it made a loss of 709 million rupees in the December 2008 quarter compared with group net profit of 199 million a year ago with a sharp rise in bad loans and a slowdown in deposits. Total capital adequacy ratio at bank level has slipped to 8.32 percent as at December 31, 2008, below the minimum 10 percent level required.

At bank level, total interest income for the December quarter was up just three percent to 5.6 billion rupees, according to a stock exchange filing.

Seylan Bank’s interest expenses rose one percent to 3.7 billion rupees with net interest income up seven percent to 1.9 billion rupees.

The group’s net loss for the whole 2008 financial year was 164 million rupees compared with a net profit of 1,021 million in 2007.

The bank’s interest margin fell to 4.78 percent in 2008 from 4.92 percent in 2007.

At bank level, total interest income for the 2008 financial year was up 18 percent to 21 billion rupees, with interest expenses up 26 percent to 13.9 billion rupees and net interest income up six percent to 7.2 billion rupees.

Seylan Bank has been the subject of speculative trading in recent weeks in anticipation of a change in ownership.