Sharp Rise

July 26, 2006 (LBO) – Hatton National Bank, the island’s second biggest privately owned lender by assets, Wednesday posted a net profit of 506.46 million rupees for the three months to June, up 48 percent from 343.09 million rupees in the same period last year. For the six months to June, the group’s income rose 27 percent to 10.73 billion rupees over a profit of 764.93 million rupees.

Hatton National Bank has investments in insurance, stockbroking and a primary dealer license to trade government debt.

“Relentless focus on profitability, managing costs, and enhanced asset quality has contributed towards this performance,” the bank’s managing director, Rajendra Theagarajah said in a statement.

Total income in the April-June period gained 28 percent to 5.54 billion rupees over the same period 2005.

He said net interest income rose 34 percent on-year in the first quarter to 2.15 million rupees while non-interest income added 7-percent to 846.69 million rupees.

“The six months have also seen the entire operating expense bill of 3.36 billion rupees been met by net interest income from core banking activity,” Theagarajah said.

Provisioning for bad and doubtful debts dipped 68 percent to 114.89 million on-year during the second quarter,