HNB woos

From left: Dr. Fernando Im, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The World Bank, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. W A Wijewardana, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Prof. Indralal de Silva, Former (Chair) of Demography, University of Colombo, Prof. Amala de Silva, Department of Economics, University of Colombo at the panel discussion on "Demographic Change in Sri Lanka" moderated by Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

Hatton National Bank says its shares are under-priced by the market. Hatton National Bank says its shares are under-priced by the market. This week it called an analysts conference to show that its shares are worth more than the levels reflected in the current prices.

This has led to speculation that the bank could be heading for another capital raising exercise.

HNB reported profits of half a billion rupees for the half year ended June 2004.

The bank says it is on the path to increase profits in the future.

By next year it would have provisioned off the bad loan from Kabool which was a blot on HNB’s balance sheet.

“Although there are a lot things happening to re-establish of the plant, we will be completely wiping off the debt by the end of next year,” said Rienzie Wijetileke
MD, Hatton National Bank.

It is also a sitting on some unrealized losses on its bond portfolio, which it now does not have to mark to market, because it is in the long-term investment portfolio.

At the moment HNB’s voting shares are trading at Rs. 65, giving a dividend yield