Bouncing Banks

Sri Lankas top banks emerged stronger in a year of exceptional performance in 2003.
Helped by what the Central Bank calls a lquote heroic attempt at fiscal discipline by the Treasury, SrirnLankas banks have rebounded strongly from the economic crises that hit the country in the laternnineties.rn

rnPredictably Commercial Bank led the pack on several key areas with Sampath following close behind.

Arnsurprisingly good performance was shown by the Bank of Ceylon, which has emerged as one of the strongestrnbanks in the country, with very Non-Performing Loans left to be provided.rn

rnProfits rose, cost income ratios improved and exposure to bad loans declined and as a result the overallrnhealth of the banking sector, in terms of asset quality and balance sheet strength improvedrndramatically.rn

rnBut analysts point out that bond profits which was a key generator of profits last year is unlikely to bernrepeated.rn

rnEspecially if fiscal discipline slips, interest rates may start to move up again. <