Rating Strength

Nov 26, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s HSBC branch’s ‘AAA(lka)’ long term rating has been confirmed with a ‘stable’ outlook backed by the ‘AA’ rating of Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Fitch Ratings Lanka said. By end June, the Sri Lanka branch of HSBC had increased its loan book 6.4 percent after contracting 12.4 percent in 2009.

“Predominant exposure remains to corporate customers, which comprised 62 percent of loans at end-2009 while retail loans accounted for the remaining 38 percent,” Fitch said.

Fitch said HSBC Sri Lanka’s profitability remained higher than the sector average in the first half of 2010.

Its return on assets (ROA) increased to 2.6 percent (annualised) in the first half of 2009, and 2.1 percent in 2009 form 1.6 percent in 2009.

Fitch said the gains were mostly due to increases in non-interest income, while ROA (excluding gains on government securities) remained strong at 1.6 percent in the first half of 2010 and 2009.

The unit’s asset quality continued to remain stronger than that of the sector through the economic downturn, reflecting the customer segment targeted by the bank and its strong risk management capabilities, Fitch said.

Its gross NPL ratio increase

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