August 30, 2007 (LBO) – Citibank’s Sri Lanka unit net profits zoomed 82 percent in the first half of 2007 driven by hefty foreign exchange gains, interim results released by the bank showed. However the bank’s total loan book grew to 13.5 billion rupees from 9.7 billion and gross assets grew to 27.1 billion from 24.0 billion rupees.
Profit after tax for the six months ending June 30, 2007 rose to 347 million rupees from 190 million in the same half last year.
Fee based income shot up to 471 million rupees from 233 million while foreign exchange income zoomed to 324 million rupees from 72.7 million
Interest income increased to just over a billion rupees from 944 million.
Net interest income increased to 572 million rupees from 479 million over the period.
Citibank Colombo’s interest margin rose to 4.5 percent from 3.9 percent while its improved profitability was reflected in return on equity rising to 13.2 percent from 7.6 percent the year before.
The bank has low bad debts but a specific provision of 72 million rupees pushed total provisions to 96.4 million for the period from 23.7 million a year before.
Economists have been expecting increasing levels o