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NSB seen as prospering in the pandemic, registering remarkable financial feats

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Generating a record-breaking profit for three quarters in a straight NSB records sensational performance beating all the odds during a pandemic. Its highest ever profit for a period of nine months with a Profit Before Tax (PBT) of Rs. 20.3Bn and a Profit After Tax (PAT) of Rs.15.6Bn, National Savings Bank (NSB) shows its corvid resistance, strength and continuous financial resilience.

Against the backdrop of COVID-19 impact on the economic activities, the PBT for the first nine months of 2021 was Rs. 20.3Bn, which marks an increase of 170.6% from Rs. 7.5Bn recorded in the same period last year, while the PAT was Rs. 15.6Bn, with an increase of 258.6% from Rs. 4.4Bn in 2020.

Gross Income of the Bank grew by 5.8% to Rs. 99.2 Bn during the nine months of the year from Rs. 93.7Bn recorded in the corresponding period, last year. During the period under review, the interest income has increased by 6.8% to reach Rs. 96.9Bn, while the interest expense has decreased by 15.7% to Rs. 56.7Bn due to the prevailing lower interest rate regime which leads to lower interest expenses for the deposits as well as borrowings despite the substantial growth in the deposit base during the nine months. The increase in interest income together with the considerable reduction in interest expenses supported Net Interest Income (NII) to surge by 71.6% to Rs. 40.1Bn against Rs. 23.4Bn stood during the same period last year. Consequently, Net Interest Margin (NIM) clocked in 3.68% at the end of nine months of 2021, higher against the 2.56% as at the same period last year.

Net Fee and commission income grew by 46.1% to Rs. 2Bn from Rs. 1.4Bn mainly driven by the increase in fee and commission income due to conversion/renewal of the existing loans to reduced interest rates as well as increased foreign remittances and coupled with fees generated through digital platforms to where the customers shifted under social distancing and health guidelines. The increase both in NII and Non-Interest Income led the total Operating Income to record a rise of 60.6% to Rs. 42.3Bn as at the end of 30th September 2021. Operating expenses during the period of nine months of 2021, rose by 21.9% to Rs. 14.6Bn compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, which is mainly attributable to the increased personnel expenses owing to the provisions made for the Collective Agreement due in 2021. Meanwhile, the Bank’s cost to income ratio decreased to 34.7% at the end of the third quarter of 2021 compared to 45.7% reported in the third quarter 2020. (NSB)



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CSE Director Board appoints new chairman

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The Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) Dumith Fernando who has served in this role since July 01, 2020, has informed the Board of his intention to retire by rotation on June 23, 2022 at the conclusion of his current term as a Director. Subsequently, at its regular monthly board meeting held on May 19th, 2022, the Board of the CSE has elected Director Dilshan Wirasekara to succeed Fernando as Chairman with effect from June 24th, 2022. Wirasekara is currently Director and Chief Executive Officer of First Capital Holdings PLC.According to the Articles of Association of the CSE, it’s Chair is chosen from among the five Directors elected by the members of the CSE. The appointment of Wirasekara is in line with the CSE’s normal board succession practice.

The outgoing Chairman Fernando said that “We are very pleased with the advancement of the CSE in the last 2 years. The market has set records across capital raising, trading volumes and participation alongside significant wealth creation for investors. The CSE is also financially stronger than it has ever been, and I am pleased to hand over my role following the institution’s highest-ever profitability and capital reserves position. Credit for this is due to my fellow board members, management and staff as well as all those stakeholders who collaborated with us including our regulator the Securities & Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka and the stock broking and investor communities.”

Commenting on the appointment of his successor, he further stated “I have had the pleasure of serving as a Director with Dilshan for five years where he has been a critical and energetic member of the board. The board and I have full confidence that he will continue to work with all stakeholders to build on our recent efforts to transform into a modern-day multi-product exchange. I look forward to supporting Dilshan over the next few weeks to ensure a smooth transition.”Wirasekara thanked both the outgoing chairman for his leadership of the CSE over the last 2 years and the CSE Board for the confidence placed in him. He further stated, “I hope to continue the good progress at the CSE and look forward to working with the Board and the CSE team together with the regulator and the industry to advance our ambitious capital market development plans.”

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SLIM Research Bureau embarks on a mission to promote fair trade in Sri Lanka

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As corporates and consumers globally are shifting towards best practices such as sustainability, inclusivity, and most importantly, equality to all, “fairness” has become a significant part of how business and buyer decisions are made.With this in mind, SLIM Research Bureau, the research arm associated with the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM), recently signed an agreement with Fairtrade NAPP at SLIM Home, in aspiration of promoting fair trade and consumption of fairly traded products in the local market of Sri Lanka.Through this collaboration, SLIM Research Bureau and Fairtrade intends to launch a project – named “SRI-PROM” funded by AICS, the Italian Agency for Development Co-operation, and supported by Fairtrade Italy – that aims to contribute to the social and economic strengthening of rural areas in Sri Lanka, through the development of much more profitable eco-sustainable supply chains for small farmers.

Commenting on the partnership, SLIM President Mr. Nuwan Gamage stated: “SLIM is thrilled to enter into this milestone partnership with Fairtrade NAPP to instil globally accepted best practices within the corporate circle that help achieve fair, equitable trade relationships. The project will be the first step in inviting businesses across industries to become a trailblazer that sets an example both in Sri Lanka and around the world. We look forward to expand these efforts further in the days to come.”The modern concept of fair trade refers to the ethical and sustainable sourcing of products, where workers and farmers at the foundational level of supply and value chains are treated fairly. This, in turn, offers consumers a powerful opportunity to reduce poverty through their purchases.

Fairtrade International Programme Consultant for Sri Lanka, Standards Committee Chair, and Oversight Committee Asia-Pacific Representative Mrs. Iresha Sanjeewanie noted: “Fairtrade takes a 360-degree approach to address a number of different issues and developmental challenges faced by small-scale producers and workers. Though Fairtrade Standards are a glum eye-opener into the implications of unfair trade, in a broader sense, it advocates reform-oriented research and pushes to raise the bar in trade.”

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Bank of Ceylon sponsors Annual Sand Paving Ceremony at Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Temple Anuradhapura

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Invoking the blessings of the sacred “Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi” situated in the historic city of Anuradhapura, on the country and on all its citizens, for peace, harmony and prosperity, the Bank of Ceylon conducted its annual ceremony of strewing fresh sand which is known as “weli Athirime Pinkama” in “Uda Maluwa” recently.

The ceremony took place with the participation of the Bank’s General Manager K.E.D. Sumanasiri, DGM Corporate and Offshore Banking Priyal Silva, DGM Human Resource Dhamma Wijeyawardhene, DGM Branch operations and Development Banking Nilantha Meneripitiyage, AGM North Central Province Mahinda Bandara, AGM Marketing Aruna Hettiarachchi, AGM North Western Mrs.Ruchindra Perera and other staff members. The event was organized by the Bank’s Assistant General Manager North Central Province (NCP) G.K.G. Mahinda Bandara and staff members of the NCP province with the guidance of the Atamasthanadipathi of Anuradhapura, the Most Venerable Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Thero.

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