Fitch Is Watching

Hattion National Bank, Sri Lankas largest privately held commercial bank, had its long-term SL A national rating, put on a ratings watch by Fitch Ratings Lanka on Wednesday.
This rating action follows the ongoing review by FRL, and reflects a weaker capital position, given the significantly increased levels of reported NPLs.

rnThe increase was largely due to more realistic classification by HNB, rather than new NPLs, says Fitch in a release. rn

rnWhilst this included the classification of a few large accounts which the bank had not classified previously, but identified as weak by FRL, it also included others not identified previously. rn

rnProvisioning increased by 25% in 2002, and this level of provisioning was maintained during the first quarter of 2003, but yet falls short of what would have been expected to meet prudential norms, in the face of the significant level of NPLs, and the low loan loss reserves.rn

rnHNBs loan loss reserve coverage as at March 2003 was 25%, whilst its Net NPLs to