Lucky Strike

Chandi Dharmaratne

Sept 22 (LBO) –Savers in Sri Lanka, who are losing money because of negative real interest rates in the country, stand to recoup their losses if they get lucky in a lottery that has now become a standard feature of bank deposits.

The country’s largest private bank, Hatton National Bank is offering a Mercedes Benz valued at 14 million rupees, a house valued at five million and Indian made fuel efficient Maruti cars among other prizes, through its ‘Pathum Vimana’ lottery.

At a ˜Pathum Vimana’ prize draw this week, a customer from the regional town of Ratnapura walked away with a brand new Audi A4.

The bank says deposits have increased in branches outside urban centers with most of the growth seen in the Central, North-Eastern, Eastern and Northern areas of the country.

We see that the rural sector savings are higher with the middle class families saving more and more but the saving trend in the urban sector has decreased, HNB Assistant General Manager Sridharan said.

Since the draw started in 1993, the bank had given away 662 million rupees worth of prizes, including 50 houses and 90 cars.

Customers who maintain balances of 10,000 Sri Lankan rupees are eligible for the draw.