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‘HNB continues to demonstrate resilience under stressed conditions’

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In the backdrop of turbulent market conditions, Hatton National Bank PLC continued to demonstrate resilience, strength and stability, posting a profit before tax of Rs 5.9Bn and a profit after tax of Rs 4.8Bn for the first quarter of 2022 recording a YOY growth of 7% and 3% respectively. At Group level PBT and PAT were at Rs 6.4 Bn and Rs 5.4 Bn respectively.Commenting on the first quarter performance, Aruni Goonetilleke Chairperson of Hatton National Bank PLC, stated that “as Sri Lanka goes through unprecedented times, HNB has yet again demonstrated resilience. At this critical time, I wish to reiterate our commitment to all our stakeholders. As a responsible Domestic Systemically Important bank, ensuring safety, stability and sustainability is our prime focus.”

With the tightening of the monetary policy since August 2021, the AWPLR increased by nearly 400 bps over the 12 months up to March 2022. This enabled the Bank to record a 59% increase in NII during 1Q 2022 compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. The Net Fee income grew by 42% YoY to Rs 3.2 Bn for the first quarter of 2022, driven mainly by improved cards transactions and trade income.The significant devaluation of the rupee as at March 2022, compared to the previous year, resulted in trading gains of approximately Rs 7.5Bn in 1Q 2022. The Bank also, booked an impairment of Rs 7.4Bn against the impact of the currency devaluation on foreign currency denominated loans and investments, which was set-off against the position revaluations.

The Bank’s net stage III loan ratio improved from 2.55% as at December 2021 to 2.41% as at end March 2022 while stage III provision cover increased to 59%, maintaining its position as one of the best in the industry in asset quality. However, considering the significant volatility in macro-economic factors in 1Q 2022, the Bank recognized a higher impairment charge of Rs 13.4Bn. This included an impairment of Rs 6.7Bn on account of investments in foreign currency denominated government securities, subsequent to the announcement made by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in relation to suspending the repayment of external foreign currency debt obligations of the Government and the sovereign rating downgrade.Operating expenses increased by 21% in 1Q 2022 driven by salary revisions, relatively higher card transaction volumes with the pickup of economic activity and general expenses increasing in line with higher inflation. However, the stronger growth in income, enabled HNB to record a cost to income of 25% during the first quarter of 2022.

HNB’s total tax charge increased by 33% to Rs 2.8Bn for the first quarter. The effective income tax rate increased from 31% in March 2021 to 37% in March 2022 due to the YoY reduction in interest income from foreign currency denominated government securities.Jonathan Alles, Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer of Hatton National Bank PLC stated that, “Sri Lanka has been travelling through a tough terrain over the past few years commencing from adverse weather conditions experienced in 2017-2018 to, unfortunate Easter Sunday attacks in 2019 and then the most unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic which impacted the entire globe. The banking sector of Sri Lanka and HNB has weathered these challenges and emerged strong and stable. Today, Sri Lanka as a nation is facing one of the most challenging times in its history. The next few months would be even more challenging. As such, it is extremely important that we play our part as responsible Sri Lankans at individual, organizational and country level. We believe that the authorities would take necessary steps to ensure political, social, economic and financial stability enabling successful conclusion of discussions with International Monetary Fund, the multilateral organizations and supporting nations to secure much needed funding.”

“It is equally important that we focus on the real economy and sustainable foreign exchange earning avenues that will support us over the medium to long term. Providing necessary support to drive exports, remittances, tourism, manufacturing and industrial development would be key. At the same time, diversifying foreign exchange earning sources would also be important. Focusing on Sri Lanka as an education hub, promoting agri-preneurs, IT, KPO, BPO industries would also be vital in this regard. We need to be cautious about our spending, and purchase local products to support our micro, small and medium enterprises, while at the Government, institutional and corporate level, adopt very tight cost containment measures and slash budgets.”

“As we encounter many obstacles in our day to day life, I would like to place on record my sincere gratitude to each and every member of the HNB team for their continuous commitment and dedication in delivering essential banking services to our valued customers.”(HNB)



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Ceylinco Life now offers cash rewards to Family Savari winners

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Ceylinco Life has announced that going forward, it will reward winners of its popular ‘Family Savari’ promotion with cash prizes in a response to the mercurial economic situation in the country, ensuring that policyholders continue to receive the same values corresponding to the prizes they win.

Now in its 15th year, the Family Savari promotion has since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic been rewarding winners with gold instead of overseas holidays and local excursions. However, due to the foreign exchange issues in the country, the company said it hopes to provide the full value of the prizes through cash rewards.

“In the current context, we believe that our Family Savari winners would appreciate receiving the full value of their prizes in cash,” Samitha Hemachandra, Ceylinco Life’s General Manager – Marketing said. “Now, each first prize winner at the bi-monthly draws will receive Rs 1 million in cash, while another 75 winners will receive cash prizes totaling Rs 3 million.”

In all, more than 1,000 policyholders will be rewarded when ‘Family Savari 15’ concludes in August 2022, with a prize bag worth over Rs 30 million. This includes supermarket shopping vouchers with a cumulative value of Rs 6 million as consolation prizes.

To be eligible to win prizes at the six bi-monthly draws, all Ceylinco Life customers have to do is to continue their existing policies with the Company or maintain a minimum account balance in their retirement plans during the promotion period. Additional winning chances are given to customers who pay their premiums directly to the company and further chances are assigned corresponding to the time they have been Ceylinco Life customers.

Intended to stimulate interest in life insurance, encourage policyholders to keep their policies active, the ‘Family Savari’ programme has benefitted more than 26,600 people to date. Grand-prize winning families at previous Family Savari promotions have visited Australia, Italy, England, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, and France, while other winners have toured China, Dubai, and Singapore.

Adjudged the ‘Most Valuable Life Insurance Brand in Sri Lanka’ in 2022 by Brand Finance, Sri Lanka’s Service Brand of the Year by the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) in 2021 and the winner of the SLIM Kantar Peoples Award as the Most Popular Life Insurance Company in Sri Lanka for the 16th consecutive year, Ceylinco Life has been the country’s leading life insurer for more than half of the 34 years it has been in existence. Other accolades won in respect of 2021 include the ‘Most Popular Service Provider’ in Sri Lanka’s Life Insurance industry in 2021 by LMD, the ‘Most Valuable Life Insurance Brand’ in Sri Lanka by Brand Finance, one of the 10 Most Admired Companies in Sri Lanka by the International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL) in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), and one of the 10 Best Workplaces in Sri Lanka’s Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector by Great Place to Work.

Ceylinco Life has close to a million lives covered by active policies and provides innovative life insurance solutions which offer protection while de-risking the goals and ambitions of the Company’s policyholders.

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Fimco Estate bags Best Real Estate Marketing Company in Sri Lanka award

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Fimco Estate is honoured to have been awarded as winners for the Best Real Estate Marketing Company in Sri Lanka at the Asia Pacific Property Awards for the year 2022-23 powering up its capacity to serve more in the fast-growing apartment industry.

The award winners were announced on the 23rd of June, 2022, bringing glory to the apartment industry in Sri Lanka. It’s a tremendous victory for Fimco Estate (www.fimcoestate.com) to position itself as a highly recognised real estate marketing company. The Asia Pacific Property Awards are the largest, most prestigious, and widely recognised programme throughout the region. Established in 1994, the Asia Pacific Property Awards distinguish the best in the property industry, across five sectors as Development, Real Estate Agency, Architecture, Interior Design, and Hospitality. The Awards are in their 29th year and cover over 45 different residential and commercial categories. The Asia Pacific Property Awards are judged by an independent panel of over 80 industry experts. The judging panel is chaired by Lord Caithness, Lord Best, and Lord Waverley, members of the House of Lords in the UK Parliament.

By providing unmatched marketing services to apartment developers and owners, and facilitating the apartment buying process to be much more convenient for buyers, Fimco Estate has emerged as one of the market leaders in Sri Lanka.   Today, Fimco Estate has grown locally and globally as a reputed brand in the apartment industry through a range of services all under one roof.  Fimco Estate is exclusively working with prominent apartment developers as their marketing and sales partner. Talking about the achievement, Raj Kaleel, CEO and Founder of Fimco Estate said “market intelligence-based approach and building a state-of-the-art technology-driven process is the secret behind our success. “It is our privilege to have been recognised with the prestigious title as winners for Best Real Estate Marketing Company in Sri Lanka, bringing honour to our nation. This recognition is evidence of the hard work of our team, who tirelessly work to build trust among our stakeholders”. Fimco Estate has reached out beyond the local boundaries to bring in foreign exchange by encouraging investment in apartments from expatriate communities and foreign investors. Entering the UAE property market is yet another recent achievement for Fimco Estate. Fimco Estate hopes to achieve more milestones in the future and would continue to strive to exceed customer expectations and maintain our level of standard.

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Flash Digital Account teams up with online pharmacy Flash Health for convenient payment

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The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has announced that its Flash Digital Bank Account has been linked as a convenient mode of payment, to the revolutionary online pharmacy Flash Health App to facilitate flash-fast home delivery of medicines to users.

Under this collaboration, ComBank Flash Account holders who register their Flash debit card or account as a preferred payment option on the Flash Health App can enjoy discounts of up to 20% on online prescription fulfilment, product purchases on the wellness marketplace, home-visit lab tests and online doctor consultations featured on the digital healthcare platform.

Commercial Bank is the only bank that Flash Health has onboarded as a payment partner via a local product such as the ComBank Flash Digital Bank Account. Customers only have to register their Flash debit card on the health app once to continue ordering medication online without having to re-enter their card details.

Since the Flash Health mobile application enables customers to upload prescriptions and order medicine online, it can also be used by customers employed overseas, who are unable to physically assist their family members during a health crisis, to place online orders for the prescription medicines and have them delivered to the doorsteps of their loved ones.

Flash Health was recently upgraded with a ‘Move, Burn and Earn’ feature which aims to motivate and encourage users to stay healthy by walking more. The initiative allows the health app users to earn Flash credit points while walking and then redeem them against purchases on the app.

Similarly, ComBank Flash too is an innovative and comprehensive digital banking tool that provides financial services required to manage the lifestyle of a customer across aspects such as daily living and utility expenses, budgeting, saving, financing, eCommerce, environmental awareness, and investments. It was the winner of the award for the ‘Digital Banking Initiative of the Year’ in Sri Lanka at the 2021 Asian Banking and Finance (ABF) awards.

Sri Lanka’s first 100% carbon neutral bank, the first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World and the only Sri Lankan bank to be so listed for 11 years consecutively, Commercial Bank operates a network of 268 branches and 940 automated machines in Sri Lanka. Commercial Bank is the largest lender to Sri Lanka’s SME sector and is a leader in digital innovation in the country’s Banking sector. The Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 19 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw; and the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.

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