May 03, 2019 (LBO) – Seylan Bank has made a steady start in 2019 by posting a Profit after Tax of 903 million rupees in the first quarter, up 11.10 percent from a year earlier, its interim accounts showed. Profits attributable to the equity holders of the Seylan Bank group rose 8.14 percent to 817 million rupees in the quarter. Net interest income of the bank increased by 5.17 percent during the 1Q 2019 while net fee and commission income from core banking activities witnessed a decrease of 2.92 percent to reach 966 million rupees in 1Q 2019 as compared to 995 million for the comparative period. Other income captions comprising net gains from trading activities, fair value changes of financial instruments, gains on foreign exchange transactions and other operating income were reported as a net gain of 368 million compared to a net gain of 358 million in 1Q 2018. Impairment charges for the period reached 589 million which is a 40 percent decrease as compared to a charge of 982 million in Q1 2018 which reflects the improvement in portfolio quality as at end Q1 2019 compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. Total expenses recorded an increase of 6.76 percent from 2,988 million in the 1Q of the previous year to 3,191 million during the period under review. Expenses growth was witnessed by investments made in IT and infrastructure, upgrading and refurbishment of branches and staff benefits. The loans and advances portfolio of the Bank recorded a marginal growth of 3.26 percent to 337,533 million rupees during 1Q 2019 amidst rising interest rates. The growth in credit was driven primarily by term loans, refinance loans and revolving import loans. The overall deposit base recorded a marginal growth of 2.65 percent to 367,053 million by 1Q 2019 while Bank’s CASA ratio (Current and Savings) stood 28.81 percent. Further, the total Time Deposits increased slightly from 71.16 percent by the end of the year 2018 to 71.19 percent as at 31st March 2019 of the total deposits base. During the first quarter, the Bank’s Earning Per Share (EPS) grew by 11.10 percent to 2.39. Further, the Bank recorded a Return on Average Assets (ROAA) of 1.11 percent and Return on Equity (ROE) of 10.24 percent. The Bank’s Net Asset Value per share as at 31st March 2019 was 95.10 rupees. Seylan Bank remained soundly capitalised, with the key capital adequacy ratios well above the regulatory minimum requirements.