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Nov 08, 2013 (LBO) – Profits at Sri Lanka’s Sampath Bank group fell to 859 million rupees in the September 2013 quarter, down 33 percent from a year earlier, on loan loss charges, interim accounts showed. The group reported earnings of 5.12 rupees per share for the quarter. For the nine months to September the firm reported earnings of 15.30 rupees per share on total profits of 2.5 billion rupees which were down 33 percent.

In the September quarter interest income rose 29 percent to 11.1 billion rupees, interest expense rose at a slower 20 percent to 6.7 billion rupees allowing the bank to grow net interest income 44 percent to 4.4 billion rupees.

Fee and commission income were also up 24 percent to 650 million rupees.

The bank made specific provisions of 150 million rupees and general provisions of 1.1 billion rupees in the quarter for non performing loans.

Sampath has a large exposure to gold-backed loan and has been making provisions.

International gold prices rose sharply amid Federal Reserve money printing over several years, but the bubble collapsed earlier this year.

Sri Lanka’s banking sector got exposed to gold loans due to long established banking practices and r

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