Chandi Dharmaratne

May 16, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state-run Bank of Ceylon, the country’s largest bank said group profits increased 104 percent to 4.4 billion rupees from a year earlier helped by strong foreign exchange earnings. The group provided 49 million rupees for loan losses in the March 2012 quarter compared with a provision reversal of 17.3 million rupees last year.

The gross non performing loan ratio rose to 2.40 percent in March from 2.24 percent in December.

Group gross assets rose 12.4 percent to 962 billion rupees and net assets rose 11.6 percent to 46.8 billion rupees.

Group total capital adequacy fell to 12.2 percent in March from 12.77 percent in December. At Ban level total capital adequacy fell to 11.05 percent from 11.64 percent.

Update II Return on assets rose to 2.62 percent from 2.0 percent and return on equity rose to 39.05 percent from 30.78 percent.

Group interest income rose 35 percent to 19.6 billion rupees and interest expenses rose 36 percent to 8.6 billion rupees and the bank also grew net interest income 35 percent to 7.8 billion rupees.

The interest margin rose to 3.46 percent in the March quarter from 3.32 percent in the December 2011 quarter.

The bank