Margin Play

Aug 05, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Nations Trust Bank group June 2011 quarter profits rose 29 percent to 360 million rupees helped by a provision reversal and lower taxes, despite a squeeze in margins on its loan book, interim accounts showed. The bank reported earnings of 1.55 rupees for the quarter and 2.58 for the half year. NTB stocks traded at 65 rupees on Friday.

Interest income fell 4 percent to 2.4 billion rupees, interest expenses fell 5 percent to 1.32 billion rupees but net interest income also fell 4 percent to 1.1 billion rupees.

The bank said margins were narrowing but it was moving to lower cost funds, re-pricing deposits and also increase business volumes.

Group performing loans grew 11 percent to 49.5 billion rupees from December 2010 to June 2011. Non-performing loans rose 10 percent to 3.3 billion rupees in the six month period. However in the June quarter there was a 28 million rupee provision write-back compared to net provisions of 90 million rupees a year earlier.

Non-performing loans were down to 4.8 percent of total loans in June, down from 6 percent in March 2011 partly due to tighter provisioning rules, the bank said.

After provisions NPLs were only 2.74 percent.

Fee income rose 11 pe