Rate Gap

May 01, 2014 (LBO) – Profits at Sri Lanka’s Seylan Bank group rose 3.3 percent to 526 million rupees in the March 2014 quarter from a year earlier, helped by lower interest expenses, despite falling credit growth, interim accounts showed. The group reported earnings of 1.53 rupees per share. The stock closed at 64.00 rupees, up 1.80 Wednesday.

The bank said interest income rose 0.2 percent to 5.8 billion rupees in the March quarter from a year earlier, but interest expenses fell 7.6 percent to 3.4 billion rupees expanding gross profits 13.7 billion rupees to 2.4 billion rupees.

Customer loans fell 3.4 percent to 131 billion rupees.

Sri Lanka is recovering from a balance of payments crisis, triggered by a credit bubble worsened by state banks loans given to subsidize electricity.

After raising interest rates and energy prices, Sri Lanka is recovering from the crisis, interest rates are falling but credit growth is still weak.

Gross non performing loans rose to 11.68 percent by end March at stand alone bank level from 10.58 percent in December 2013. Non performing loans after provisions rose to 8.72 percent from 7.94 percent.

Loan losses rose to 198 million rupees from a provision reversal of 53 million ru