Strong Showing

Feb 25, 2014 (LBO) – Profits at Sri Lanka’s Commercial Bank of Ceylon rose 25 percent to 3.3 billion rupees in the December 2013 quarter from a year earlier, despite a steep loan loss provisioning, interim accounts showed. The group reported earnings of 3.92 rupees per share. For the 12-months to December the group reported earnings of 12.43 rupees on total profits of 10.5 billion rupees, which were up 4.8 percent. The stock closed flat at 114.50 rupees Tuesday.

In the December quarter interest income rose 11.3 percent to 16.0 billion rupees, interest expense rose at a slower 8.6 percent to 9.3 billion rupees from a year earlier, and net interest income rose at a faster 15.6 percent to 6.68 billion rupees

The bank said there was a trading loss of 863 million rupees but gains on financial instruments were up to 1.3 billion rupees from only 16.4 billion rupees. There were forex costs on swaps.

The bank made a 1.7 billion rupee provision for specific loan losses but a general provision of 260 million rupees was reversed.

Sri Lanka is recovering from a balance of payments crisis that is that is typical for countries with so-called soft-pegged exchange rates.

Loans given during the credit bubble also