Union Margins

Chandi Dharmaratne

May 02, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Union Bank group’s net profits for the March 2012 quarter were up 21.8 percent from a year earlier, helped by stronger interest and foreign exchange income, interim accounts showed. But Union Bank said its gross non-performing loans (without interest in suspense) fell to 4.6 percent from 5.51 percent. Total capital which fell from 36.7 percent to 22.1 percent was also much higher than the required 10 percent.

Group gross assets rose 5.3 percent to 28.3 billion rupees and net assets rose 1.7 percent to 5.2 billion rupees.

Union Bank group includes a finance company and a fund management firm.

Interest income rose 57.7 percent to 724 million rupees in the March quarter and interest expenses rose at a faster 82.1 percent to 402 million rupees but the bank also managed to grow its net interest income by 35 percent to 321 million rupees.

Non-interest income rose 86 percent to 163 million rupees with foreign exchange income rising 294 percent to 58 million rupees, with more volatility of the exchange rate this quarter.

The bank grew its performing loan book 10 percent to 18 billion rupees from December to March while deposit growth lagged behind, increasing 4.2 p