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BOC notches LKR 22.1 billion PAT in steady performance



The Bank of Ceylon top management team announces the banks financials for the first half of the year in Colombo on Thursday, led by Chairman Kanchana Ratwatte (3rd from left)/ Pic: Saman Ranaweera

Amidst unexpected challenges, the Bank of Ceylon’s Profit Before Tax for the six months ended 30th June 2021 stood at LKR 27.1 billion, moving forward with stable performance, while managing headwinds caused by low interest rates, cash-flow deferments and operational restrictions.

Profit After Tax (PAT) for the period was LKR 22.1 billion. The Bank’s total assets grew by 11% and reached the LKR 3.3 trillion level reaching another milestone and preserving its industry leadership. The key contributors are growth in loans and investment book which denotes about 93% of the assets of the Bank. The Bank’s gross loan book surpassed the LKR 2.0 trillion mark during the year 2020 and now stands at LKR 2.5 trillion reporting 16% growth during this first half of this year. Both Government and Private sector lending contributed to growth during the period.

The Bank’s deposit base (more than 23% of the industry) increased during the period despite low interest rates. The Bank’s deposit base of LKR 2.6 trillion represents 35% of the Current and Saving deposit (CASA) base, which generates funds at low cost. The Bank’s Tier I Capital and Total Capital ratio stood at 11.5% and 15.0% respectively by end June 2021, which were above regulatory norms. Despite cash flow deferments on loan instalments, the Bank was able to maintain better trade -off between liquid assets and liabilities. All liquidity ratios were maintained well above the regulatory norms.

The long-preserved stability, strength and sustainable growth of the Bank continued, undeterred by the negative market dynamics, highlighted by the reported profit for the year 2020 and the first six months of this year, reflecting the Bank being a true cross-section of the country’s economy.

The Bank also operates a fully

owned subsidiary in London, UK. During the year under review extra effort was invested to manage the Bank’s overseas branches, namely Maldives, the Seychelles, India, and the subsidiary in UK.

Bank of Ceylon continues to be recognised as the highest ranked local bank in the listing of the Top 1000 Banks by the Banker Magazine UK for the year 2021, ranked among the Top 10 Most Admired Companies in Sri Lanka for year 2020 by CIMA/ICCSL/Daily FT. In addition, Bank of Ceylon received four awards at the “Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Awards 2020” by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, which included Category Winner for Employee Relations, Triple Bottom Line Award for Economic Sustainability (Profit), Category Winner of Financial Performance and was also listed among the 10 Best Corporate Citizens for 2020. It was also chosen as the “People’s Banking Services Provider of 2020 and 2021” at the SLIM – People’s Awards. Brand BOC continued to be the No.1 Banking Brand in the country successfully for the 13th consecutive year, by Brand Finance Sri Lanka and Media Services Pvt Ltd.

Leading Sri Lanka’s banking industry with over 82 years of experience as the No.1 Bank in the country, Bank of Ceylon continues to fulfil its role as the most stable and trusted banking entity in the country, serving Sri Lankans from all walks of life with over 2000 customer touch-points across the island, helping them build their lives, providing financial stability and uplifting the country’s economy.

\Bank of Ceylon marks its 82nd Anniversary ensuring the strenghtening of its undisputed leadership position whilst focusing on assisting economic revival.

Highest disbursement under “Saubagya” Working Capital Loan scheme –18,936 facilities worth of LKR 39 Billion.

Moratoriums provided for facilities valued at over LKR 550 Billion during first pandemic wave and over LKR 250 Billion during the second pandemic wave.

Conscious of its duty to continuously power the wheels of the Sri Lanka economy, Bank of Ceylon celebrated its 82nd Anniversary on August 2nd 2021 on an austere note. With Covid -19 pandemic challenging the operational system of all industries, Bank continued to support economic revival through many frontiers.

BOC ensured that the benefits accruing to it through the extraordinary measures introduced by CBSL in its policymaking initiatives trickled down to the ultimate beneficiaries-customers-through moratoriums and concessionary loan schemes.

While recording healthy financial results, BOC continued focused on ensuring that the integrity of the country’s banking sector, including payment and settlements, continued without interruption, while aiding the country in its economic revival, through SME and local entrepreneurship development.

Collaborating with the Ministry of Health and Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) in their efforts in facing up to the challenges of the pandemic the Bank of Ceylon embarked on a centralized communication hub assisting the affected home-based patients connecting them digitally with medical officials to provide immediate information and advisory facility.

The Bank extended support by implementing the CBSL announced moratorium facilities worth LKR 550 Billion -during the first pandemic wave and LKR 250 Billion during the second pandemic wave. Bank of Ceylon topped the industry in granting loans under the “Saubagya” Working Capital Loan scheme, disbursing LKR 39 billion to over 18,000 borrowers. Stretching its hands out to needy customers further, the Bank of Ceylon launched the “Export Circle” focusing on promoting export industry and added a new Business Unit as Revival and Rehabilitation Unit to support corporate sector companies to revive themselves when confronted with difficult situations.

Developing a Strong National Economy

The Senior Management of the Bank engaged with entrepreneurs and SMEs to provide support on critical business issues covering all provinces of the country.

The “Mithuru” Micro Finance programme of the Bank also served over 2,155 small groups, with prominence given to the Northern, Eastern, North Central and Central provinces. Total disbursements amounts over LKR 536 Million up to Q2 of 2021.

The Bank also introduced BOC “Divi Udana” loan scheme during the year to revitalise the ailing economy, by way of kick starting SMEs and ensuring their funding needs are met. It further introduced “Sashreeka” loan scheme promoting organic fertilizer and locally produced pesticides production among entrepreneurs. (BOC)


SLT-MOBITEL donates fourth PCR machine to Matara District Hospital



Group Chairman of SLT-MOBITEL Rohan Fernando handing over the donation to Deputy Director of Matara District Hospital Upali Ratnayake accompanied by Dr.Thushara Vidanapathirana, Dr.Deepika Priyanthi and Group CEO of SLT-MOBITEL Lalith Seneviratne.

Recognising the importance to enhance Sri Lanka’s PCR testing capacity to curtail the spread of COVID-19 and to protect citizens, SLT-MOBITEL continues its support by donating yet another vital PCR machine to the District General Hospital in Matara recently.

The donation of the PCR machine valued at over Rs. 5.7 million is part of SLT-MOBITEL’s ‘Sabandiyawe Sathakaraya’ CSR initiative in further strengthening the nation’s healthcare systems and assisting communities in need.

The equipment was handed over to the Deputy Director of the Matara Hospital Doctor Upali Rathnayaka in the presence of Rohan Fernando, Group Chairman, SLT-MOBITEL; Lalith Seneviratne, Group Chief Executive Officer, SLT-MOBITEL; Kiththi Perera, CEO, SLT; Shashika Senarath, CMO, Mobitel along with Regional GM, SLT; Regional Head – Mobitel and Hospital Staff.

Previously, PCR machines were donated to the Base Hospital, Karawanella, District General Hospital, Matale and the University Hospital of the Kotelawala Defense University. SLT-MOBITEL appreciates the support received from all Sri Lankans towards ‘Daana Paaramitha’ which was conceptualized as a platform to further increase community involvement in carrying out relief efforts to support families affected by the pandemic.

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Extension of lockdown negatively impacts CSE



By Hiran H. Senewiratne

CSE trading activities commenced yesterday in a lacklustre manner with little share-buying interest and later on became negative following the government’s announcement on the lockdown extension until October 1, stock market analysts said.

The Colombo International Financial Centre (CIFC) at the Port City was set to commence this month and has been delayed until December owing to the current Covid 19 situation. This also affected CSE trading activities yesterday, analysts said.

Consequently, the stock market lost steam yesterday, closing on a negative note as investor sentiment remained erratic due to internal and external environmental factors. Both indices moved downwards or to negative territory despite healthy turnover in the market. The All Share Price Index went down by 46.09 points and S and P SL20 declined by 17.93 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 3.8 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in Expolanka, where 600,000 shares crossed for Rs. 101.1 million, its shares trading at Rs. 158.50 and Sampath Bank one million shares crossed for Rs. 49.5 million, its shares traded at Rs. 49.50.

In the retail market, some companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Expolanka Holdings Rs. 1.2 billion (7.4 million shares traded), JKH Rs. 604 million (4.6 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs. 540 million (58.3 million shares traded) and Hayleys Rs. 204 million (2 million shares traded).

It is said that following two sessions of gains, the indices closed in the red due to price declines in large-cap stocks as investors opted to book modest returns after the recent sharp rally. Stocks such as Expo, LOLC, and JKH, which saw sharp gains in the past two sessions witnessed profit-taking at higher levels and weighed on the momentum throughout the session.

Further, high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Sampath Bank. Mixed interest was observed in Expolanka Holdings, Tokyo Cement Company and LOLC Holdings, while retail interest was noted in Browns Investments, Lanka Orix Finance and Industrial Asphalts. During the day 153 million share volumes changed hands in 24000 transactions.

As of yesterday, the current exchange rate of 1 US dollar was equal to 199.607 Sri Lankan rupees. This is an increase of 7.856656 percent (or +14.5401 LKR) compared with the same time last year (17 September 2020), when 1 US dollar equaled 185.067 Sri Lankan rupees.

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Lockdown takes toll on Sri Lanka’s manufacturing sector activities



The resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in August 2021 has slowed down the manufacturing activities in the country. Accordingly, the manufacturing PMI recorded an index value of 45.1 in August 2021 with a fall of 12.7 index points from the previous month, mainly driven by the decrease in New Orders, Production, Employment, and Stock of Purchases sub-indices. The decline in New Orders and Production, especially in the manufacture of food & beverages, furniture, and textiles & wearing apparel sectors, have mainly contributed to the overall decrease of the manufacturing PMI. Many respondents in those sectors highlighted that their local orders and distribution channels were affected due to the lockdown imposed as a measure of containing the pandemic. Further, many of them also emphasised that factory operations were disrupted due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus among employees. Employment sub-index also declined in line with these developments.

The decrease of Stock of Purchases was in line with the decline in New Orders and Production. Further, the difficulties encountered in placing purchase orders and in settling foreign payments also adversely affected the supply chain of raw materials and production schedules. Many respondents stressed that the continuous increase in the cost of imported raw materials adversely affected their profit margins. Meanwhile, Suppliers’ Delivery Time lengthened at a slower rate in August 2021. The manufacturers cautioned that the uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic would continuously hinder the prospects of the manufacturing sector, yet, overall expectations for manufacturing activities for the next three months remained above the neutral threshold.

Services PMI dropped to an index value of 46.2 in August 2021 with the restrictions imposed to contain the further spread of the COVID-19. New Businesses, Business Activity, Employment and Expectations for Activity sub-indices recorded declines. New Businesses decreased in August compared to the previous month mainly with the declines observed in wholesale and retail trade, insurance, real estate, and education sub-sectors. Business Activities across most of the sub-sectors such as, wholesale and retail trade, real estate, insurance and other personal activities reported considerable declines indicating the adverse effects of travel restrictions on their business operations. Nevertheless, transportation sub-sector recorded some improvements solely due to the growth in freight volumes. Moreover, financial services sub-sector also indicated improvements despite the disturbances from travel restrictions. Employment continued to fall at a higher pace as retirements and voluntary resignations exceeded the number of recruitments carried out during the month. Backlogs of Work increased at a higher pace in August along with the reduction in staff availability amid travel restrictions and growing COVID-19 infections of staff. (CBSL)

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