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People’s Bank’s consolidated financial support extended during 2020 & 2021 crosses LKR 1.0 trillion

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Sujeewa Rajapakse Chairman of People's Bank,Ranjith Kodituwakku, Chief Executive Officer/ General Manager

People’s Bank today announced the results for the year ended December 31, 2021 – with consolidated total operating income reaching LKR 110.7 billion and total operating expenses amounting to LKR 50.5 billion, either of which up 21.9% and 14.9% respectively over 2020. Consolidated pre-tax and post-tax profits amounted to LKR 37.2 billion and LKR 28.1 billion; representing a 51.1% and 74.6% growth. On a Bank standalone basis, figures were LKR 30.4 billion and LKR 23.7 billion, respectively – up 43.2% and 67.3% over 2020.

Income growth primarily stemmed from net interest income, which accounted for close to 90.0% of total operating income and grew by 30.2% in line with the Bank’s growth in its credit and investment portfolio, whilst its fee income grew by 23.4% to reach LKR 9.0 billion; reflecting the Bank efforts to improve its non-funded income sources. Expense growth mostly related to direct business growth. Relative to 2019, the Bank’s cost to income ratio has shown a marked improvement at 51.1% in 2021 as compared with 54.3% in 2020 and 61.8% in 2019. Bank-wide impairment charges rose reflecting macro-economic stresses as seen throughout the industry.

During the year, the Bank invested in rural development, supported small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and encouraged women entrepreneurship. At end 2021, it extended over LKR 63.0 billion to SMEs through various loan initiatives ; which included close to LKR 1.9 billion through its own scheme to help revive businesses across agriculture, information technology, logistics, manufacturing, tea and tourism. In conjunction with the Small Holder Agri-Business Partnership (SAP), introduced a low-interest credit scheme for 5,000 farmers with an initial provision of LKR 1.0 billion. To support the production of local fertilizer, the Bank introduced the Sarabhoomi loan scheme whilst to promote women entrepreneurship, it extended LKR 533.5 million. The Bank also introduced additional loan schemes to assist self-employment in the agricultural and handicrafts spaces. To support the country’s investment in information technology, the Bank committed LKR 6.0 billion of which LKR 750.0 million was already drawn down. From a Personal Loan perspective, in its effort to uplift the housing and construction sector, the Bank granted over 10,000 home loan facilities amounting to over LKR 185.8 billion at end 2021. In addition, by end 2021, it had disbursed over LKR 5.5 billion to retired disabled officers of armed forces and over LKR 68.5 billion to government pensioners. To assist artists and related professionals, the Bank disbursed over LKR 550.0 million, whilst to assist University Students and Teachers, the Bank designed laptop loan schemes through which a total of LKR 350.5 million was extended throughout the year. Medical students at state universities were similarly offered personal loan facilities.

All the above considered, the Bank’s consolidated loan book expanded by 12.1% to reach LKR 1,990 billion at end 2021. The Bank’s stage 3 loans were, however, at 4.3% (2020: 4.5%). In addition, the Bank undertook approximately LKR 453.0 billion treasury bond conversions during the said two-year period. Growth in its consolidated deposits was 12.1% to LKR 2,168.7 billion.

Total consolidated taxes and dividends to the Government of Sri Lanka totaled LKR 20.4 billion during 2021, representing a 25.1% growth over LKR 16.3 billion in 2020. Its Consolidated Tier I and Total Capital Adequacy was 13.4% and 17.9%, respectively at end 2021 (end 2020: 10.7% and 15.6%). On a Bank standalone basis, these were 12.6% and 17.8%, respectively (2020: 9.5% and 15.5%); either of which not institutional all times highs but also amongst the highest in the industry. All other regulatory ratios were all maintained well above the minimum requirement.

Commenting on the results, the Chairman of People’s Bank, Mr. Sujeewa Rajapakse, stated that: “We are very pleased with the results of the Bank more so as attained during unseen like before circumstances. As a service provider, the last two years have put our promise and our ability to deliver to the ultimate test. As a national institution, we don’t measure our success by a typical top line or bottom line but by our national value added – with our results both from a quantitative and qualitative perspective self-attesting to our resilience in these difficult times and overall performance including, most notably, our productivity & efficiency. All the above said, our job is far from over. Not complacent with any of our successes, we remain focused and fully committed to the Government economic revival plan. Mindful of the challenges which lie ahead, we look forward with a great degree of optimism. Together, we can!”



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Seylan Bank takes the lead to promote LANKA QR beyond Western Province

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Seylan Bank, the Bank with a Heart, organized the ‘Seylan Pay QR Carnival’ in Kurunegala to promote the LANKAQR programme introduced by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) to strengthen digital transactions in Sri Lanka. The special programme, focusing on encouraging local merchants and SMEs to join the national QR transaction system, took place at the Vehera Sports Ground in Kurunegala recently. Officials from the Central bank of Sri Lanka, the Lanka QR Committee and partner banks were present at the event.

Organised as the 14th leg of the LankaQR national rollout campaign, the Seylan Pay QR Carnival set a firm footprint with the highest number of merchants at the event. Seylan Bank alone on boarded over 100 merchants for the SeylanPay payment solutions from the Kurunegala area. Over a thousand customers walked in during the event which benefitted many merchants accepting LankaQR, to process transactions on the day and generate great traction in the district since then.

As the key feature of the event, Seylan Bank educated their customers on the use of the Bank’s QR payment system, the SeylanPay Mobile App, and assisted customers in making payments to merchants. Over 50 stalls selling clothes and accessories, gift items, food, sweets, electronics and electrical equipment, plants, beauty care, cosmetic items and automobile parts were set up for the benefit of consumers, with attractive added discounts for customers using QR payment systems to purchase items, thereby encouraging and familiarizing the use of it among them. This marked a record high number of merchants participating among many LankaQR nationwide rollout campaigns that were organised to date. A Seylan Bank Mobile ATM was deployed at the premises, ensuring that customers had easy access to carry out cash withdrawals if required and check their account balances at any given time. In addition, a special fun zone was set up for children at the event premises, whilst a musical evening entertained the adults present at the Seylan Pay QR Carnival.

“Seylan Bank’s commitment to develop the banking and finance network together with the industry led to us hosting the 14th leg of the Lanka QR national rollout campaign. We also realize the potential this system brings to the SME sector in the country, in terms of transaction efficiency and savings. As a bank that has continued to support SMEs in the country in a wide spectrum, the alliance with Lanka QR helps in developing the entire transaction ecosystem of the country,” commented Chaminda Senewiratne, Head of Digital Banking Channels, Seylan Bank.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka introduced the LANKAQR service in October 2020 with the aim of moving towards a cash-less society while increasing financial inclusion in Sri Lanka, and was supported in this endeavour by Banks, licensed financial institutions and Lanka Clear (Pvt.) Ltd. It has already stood out as an attractive option with notable benefits for small and medium enterprises.

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Stylish Garments unveils its latest export-oriented BOI factory in Ambalangoda 

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With the Board of Investment (BOI) widening its projects, Stylish Garments (Pvt) Ltd, unveiled its sixth BOI approved factory in Ambalangoda which manufactures children’s wear, jerseys including school uniforms exclusively targeting the international market. The Stylish Garments is a renowned a garment manufacturer and exporter of jersey knit and lighter woven apparel products.

The latest project, which is a USD 3.5 million investment, is to generate 500 employment opportunities for people living in the south and other parts of the country. Moreover, the products are slated to be exported to the UK and Europe. The agreement in this regard was signed recently at the BOI Head Office in the presence of BOI Director General Renuka M Weerakone.

The Director General said “A project of this nature should be recognized owing to the fact that it depicts the vibrant and vivid expansion of BOI projects, which has now started to reach the rural areas, The new venture will uplift the livelihood of the people living in the Ambalangoda area plus become a crucial source of bringing dollars to the country in a situation where the country isin dire need of dollars,” she underscored.

Founder and incumbent Chairman of the Stylish Garments (Pvt) Ltd Leelaratne Hattanarachchi said,” we were determined to launch the project irrespective of current challenges because such new projects would bring dollars to the country. That’s the very reason why I ventured to start operations at this new factory by turning the advantage of this crisis to ourselves. At the same time, we do appreciate the support rendered by the BOI at this critical juncture and look forward their support in future too.”

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Browns Investments solar power plant deal dominates CSE trading

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By Hiran H. Senewiratne

CSE’s leading listed company, Browns Investments, disposed of 50.1 per cent of its stake in Sagasolar Power Power (Private) Limited to another leading company, Aitken Spence Pvt. Ltd. yesterday, market sources said.

The total value of the company was Rs 1.4 billion and under this deal Browns Investments sold the stake for Rs 700 million. The capacity of the solar power plant is 10 megawatts, stock market analysts said.

Sagasolar Power built the solar PV facility on 45 acres (18.2 ha) of land within a dedicated energy development area in Baruthankanda, Hambantota district, Southern province. The country’s previous largest solar plant is a 1.3-MW facility also located in Hambantota.

Amid those developments, the trading activities in the stock market turned negative due to macro and micro economic uncertainties. Accordingly, stocks slipped over 1 per cent at mid-day trade yesterday for the third consecutive day, market analysis said.

The All- Share Price Index fell by 121 points and S and P SL20 went down by 50.8 points. Turnover stood at Rs 982 million without any crossings. Top seven companies that that contributed to the turnover were, Lanka IOC Rs 274 million (3.5 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 185 million (1.2 million shares traded), JKH Rs 77 million (626,000 shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 59.8 million (9.9 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 58.9 million (8.9 million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs 32.6 million (89,000 shares traded) and Commercial Bank Rs 15.4 million (309,000 shares traded). During the day 51.5 million share volumes changed hands in 14000 share transactions.

Yesterday the Central Bank announced US dollar buying rate was Rs 356.04 and the selling price Rs 367.33.

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