People’s Bank announced the results for its quarter ended March 31, 2023 reporting total consolidated operating income and pre-tax profit amounting to LKR 24.0 billion and LKR 7.2 billion, respectively (Q1-2022: LKR 42.6 billion and LKR 11.0 billion).
Similar to 2022, the quarter continued to be characterized by higher interest costs; due to the high interest rate environment which prevailed. This saw consolidated net interest income dip by 49.7% to LKR 15.3 billion during the period relative to Q1-22. This, in part, also reflected the Bank efforts to defer re-pricing of some of its loans to its more sensitive customer segments. Consolidated net fees & commission income amounted to LKR 4.5 billion which, excluding one off items during Q1-22, represented over a 40.0% growth on a like for like basis.
Reflecting inflation pushed cost pressures, much of which originated in the period after Q1-22, saw consolidated total operating expenses rise by 10.1% to reach LKR 14.4 billion (Q1-22: LKR 13.1 billion). This compared well with the industry and, in part, also reflected Group efforts for greater cost control at every instance so reasonably possible.
Total consolidated customers deposits grew to reach LKR 2,513.1 billion – i.e., by 2.6%, whilst consolidated net loans contracted by 4.2% to LKR 1,835.1 billion. The dip in net loans reflected a conscious effort on part of the Bank and the Group to control lending more so in a yet contracting macro-economic context. Total consolidated assets stood at LKR 3,072.2 billion at period end (end 2022: LKR 3,133.1 billion).
The Bank’s Tier I and Total Capital Adequacy Ratios were 11.8% and 16.2%, respectively at March 31, 2023 (end 2022: 11.9% and 16.3%) whilst, on a consolidated basis, it was 13.0% and 16.9%, respectively (end 2022: 13.3% and 17.2%). The Bank’s solvency levels remain sound ultimately reflecting efforts made since the onset of Basel III on July 1, 2017. Further efforts to bolster its regulatory capital, including for the purposes of additional contingency, is currently ongoing. In addition, the Bank successfully met all key regulatory measures during the said period.
Commenting on the results of the Bank and the Group, the Chairman of People’s Bank, Mr. Sujeewa Rajapakse, stated that: “Whilst the sector has, and continues to reel with many headwinds over the last several years. our first quarter results remains testimony to our continued strength and resilience, and adaptability even in the most adverse set of circumstances. Over the last several years, the Bank has successfully met the needs of its diverse stakeholders, leading from the front in many instances so to ensure the country is first prioritized, customer interest are safeguarded, government endeavors are supported whilst, at the same time, the Bank’s commercial interests are also met. Our top line growth during the quarter attest to the growth of our core banking operations whilst the high interest rate environment which prevailed has naturally led to the inevitable earnings pressure as seen throughout the industry. The quarter was however witness to several accomplishments from an Institutional standpoint both from a quantitative and qualitative front. This included, amongst other, our ability to successfully drive identified strategic growth areas, ensure sustained improvements in liquidity both from a rupee and foreign currency standpoint and instill further improvements from a risk management perspective. In addition, our digital investments continues to bear fruit, which augurs well for the Bank’s future growth prospects!
Looking ahead, with several positive developments seen on a macro-economic front including those stemming from the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility, we look forward to the future with a great degree of optimism. As we have done so over the last several years, we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to play our role to safeguard national interest and those of our stakeholders. I take the opportunity to thank our loyal customers for their continued trust and confidence in the Institution!”
Commenting on the results, the Bank’s Chief Executive Officer/ General Manager (Acting) Mr. Clive Fonseka, stated that: “Despite the many pressures, including those unique to a State-Owned Institution, we have continued to make noteworthy progress on several fronts and have addressed some of the most pressing matters within a short span of time. Our primary focus has, and continues to be, in further bolstering our liquidity, driving key areas of strategic importance, and managing our asset quality whilst supporting our customers navigate through these challenging times. We are currently also taking early steps to bolster our regulatory capital from current levels. The success of our delivery remains ultimately best reflected in the sustained improvements shown across several key performance indicators.
Relating to the recent news being circulated in select social media platforms on non-performing loan write-offs – I seek to confirm that there have been no such write offs. Our usual due process for recovering such loans are currently in process.
He further stated that: “The foundation of People’s Bank’s success primarily rests with our staff and that of our loyal customers. While the road ahead is likely to be filled with many more challenges, we look forward to facing them with confidence and vigor as we have done so over the last several years!
Amana Takaful Insurance and CBC Finance forge partnership for insurance coverage
In a significant move to enhance insurance services for vehicle owners, Amana Takaful Insurance PLC and CBC Finance Limited have inked a special Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This strategic alliance positions Amana Takaful Insurance as the preferred insurance partner for CBC Finance, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC.
The signing of this exclusive agreement signifies Amana Takaful Insurance’s commitment to providing tailored insurance solutions to the customers of CBC Finance. It opens up a range of benefits for vehicle owners, including three-wheelers and motorcycles, ensuring affordable, comprehensive insurance coverage and seamless services. The MOU will facilitate widespread collaboration between Amana Takaful Insurance and CBC Finance, on an Islandwide basis, thereby strengthening customer relationships. Furthermore, the agreement introduces tailor-made insurance products crafted specifically to cater to the needs and preferences of CBC Finance customers.
Hassan Kassim, Managing Director at Amana Takaful Insurance expressed his enthusiasm about this new exclusive partnership saying, “We’re excited to join hands with CBC Finance to provide comprehensive insurance solutions to their valued customers. This strategic alliance aligns perfectly with our commitment to delivering exceptional value to customers across Sri Lanka.”
Managing Director/CEO at CBC Finance, Upul Dissanayake noted, “This partnership marks a significant step forward in ensuring robust insurance coverage for vehicles across Sri Lanka. Amana Takaful Insurance’s strong financial position and exceptional product offering, combined with CBC’s extensive reach, will empower customers with top-notch insurance solutions and unparalleled convenience.”
The collaboration between these two leaders in the financial services space exemplifies their dedication to supporting the business community and the general public by offering innovative and customer-centric insurance products. Amidst a challenging market environment, this partnership underscores Amana Takaful Insurance’s resilience and commitment to providing reliable insurance coverage, making it the preferred choice for individuals and businesses alike
SLT-MOBITEL mTunes introduces ‘Be a Millionaire’ promo
Bringing elevated lifestyle experiences, SLT-MOBITEL is offering users the ultimate chance to turn music into wealth with its new ‘Be a Millionaire’ promo on mTunes.mTunes is a digital lifestyle service that allows customers to personalise their Caller Ring Back Tone (CRBT) with their favourite songs or audio content. It adds a unique and personalised touch to phone calls, allowing customers to express their originality and preferences with their loved ones.
With a vast collection of songs on the mTunes platform, the ‘Be a Millionaire’ promo offers users the opportunity to connect with their hearts’ content and win big cash prizes. From September 1st to November 30th, 2023, the ‘Be a Millionaire’ promo on mTunes promises incredible prizes for lucky participants. The grand prize is an amazing Rupees One million (Rs. 1,000,000) with additional rewards of Rs. 100,000 for the second winner and Rs. 50,000 for the third place. But the path to wealth does not end; seven more lucky winners will receive Rs. 10,000 each, and every week, there will be twelve lucky winners of Rs. 10,000 each in cash prizes.
Participating in the promotion is easy. Existing and new CRBT users have the chance to win these fantastic prizes, including becoming millionaires, by simply activating more mTunes during the promotional period. With multiple cash prizes available, there are numerous opportunities to win every week. The ‘Be a Millionaire’ promotion is a golden opportunity to make dreams come true.
Users can increase their chances of winning by simply activating more mTunes daily. Users can also experience the fun, excitement, and entertainment offered by mTunes and enjoy the world of music.
From Thread to Tree: MAS Holdings’ Fabric Park redefines sustainable manufacturing
In an era where environmental sustainability is transitioning from choice to necessity, MAS Fabric Park (MFP) stands out as a revolutionary force in Sri Lanka’s apparel industry. Nestled in the tranquil environs of Thulhiriya in the Kegalle District in Sri Lanka, this 165-acre privately owned apparel-intensive free trade zone is not just a manufacturing hub; it’s the result of the MAS Group’s unwavering vision for sustainability, a testament to the Group’s dedication and a shining example of business harmonizing with the environment.
A Vision for Positive Change
MAS Holdings, the parent company of Fabric Park, has long embraced a vision of sustainable growth and positive transformation within the Company’s ethos, which is seen throughout the organization and its initiatives. The belief is that sustainability goes beyond profit; it’s about fostering positive change in the world, making a difference for the communities around the locality, and leaving a lighter footprint on our planet.
MAS Fabric Park’s CEO Murad Rajudin explained that MFP provides partner plants with centralized utility services including treated water, raw effluent treatment for factory-discharged water, energy in the form of electricity distribution from the main grid, steam, and thermic heat, based on the location of the plant. “MFP plays a pivotal role in the intricate supply chain of MAS Holdings.
Firstly, it is a strategic hub for fabric development and value addition, contributing significantly to the vertical integration of the MAS supply chain. This integration is crucial in a global industry where speed, efficiency, and reducing carbon footprint have become paramount. By offering state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities for fabric manufacturing right within Sri Lanka, MFP not only streamlines operations but also aligns with the global demand for responsible and sustainable manufacturing practices.”
Comprehensive Water Management, Waste Reduction, and Value enhancement
Sustainability is deeply ingrained in every facet of MAS Fabric Park’s operations, notably in its approach to IPZ’s overall water footprint management, centralized effluent treatment, and waste management operations. The Park introduced a uniquely designed centralized raw wastewater collection and combined treatment system, which strictly adheres to global-level Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) standards with respect to the fully treated discharges of the zone.
MFP General Manager (Hydro & Sustainability) Harsha Deraniyagala says, “MFP is leading the way in centralized water management systems, and centralized effluent treatment operations whilst meeting global standards with a present capacity of 9000 cubic meters per day. These innovative systems, operating at such high capacity, eliminate the need for redundant in-house treatment plants for partner facilities, effectively optimizing resources and curbing environmental impact within the zone.”
In addition, MAS Fabric Park has pioneered the sustainable management of textile “sludge”, which is a globally concerned area related to the industry. Through sustainable solar and thermal drying-based reductions, and dried sludge co-processing for energy recovery leading to final eco-brick production, it has significantly reduced the waste footprint of the zone whilst ensuring circularity within the entity.
Even the ultimate byproduct of textile wastewater treatment sludge finds purpose in products like the Eco Brick, used in constructing the chalets at MAS Athena and also across other construction needs of the entity, whilst biological waste is being diverted for composting for nurturing plants, aligning seamlessly with the concept of waste-to-energy and waste-to-value.
These initiatives contribute for the significant reductions of respective Carbon Footprints usually linked with the water, wastewater, and resultant large-scale environmental engineering operations. The fully equipped, ISO IEC 17025 accredited water quality laboratory and the research center support the related quality assurance and compliance aspects throughout the respective value streams.
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