Narrow Play

Chandi Dharmaratne

May 13, 2012 (LBO) – Profits at Sri Lanka’s PABC Bank was flat at 196 million rupees in the March 2012 quarter as interest margins narrowed and personnel expenses spiked, interim accounts showed. The bank reported earnings of 67 cents per share for the quarter. The stock closed at 18.90 rupees down 40 cents Friday.

Return on assets fell to 1.67 percent from 2.06 percent and return on equity fell to 21.79 percent from 25.5 percent, according to accounts filed with the Colombo Stock Exchange.

Fee income was flat at 219 million rupees. Forex income rose 78 percent to 73 million rupees but unspecified other income fell 16 percent to 145 million rupees.

Interest income increased 52 percent in to 1.4 billion rupees but interest expenses rose 89 percent to 819 million rupees and net interest income grew at a slower 19 percent to 604 million rupees.

The bank said net interest margin fell to 5.12 percent in the March 2012 quarter from 5.44 percent a year earlier.

Loan loss provisions rose 83 percent to 21.8 million rupees. Performing loans grew 7 percent to 35.3 billion rupees by end March 2012 from December 2011 and non-performing loans grew 3-pct to 2.6 billion rupees.