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Sampath Bank Posts Strong 1H 2021

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Harsha Amarasekera, Chairman, Sampath Bank PLC (left) and Nanda Fernando, Managing Director, Sampath Bank PLC

Sampath Bank’s diversified and resilient business model has proved to be valuable in navigating through the current macro-economic environment and has ensured a positive development on the bottom line of the Bank while ensuring the safety and well-being of the staff and customers during this turbulent time.

Sampath Bank posted a profit after tax (PAT) of Rs 7 Bn for the first half of 2021, against Rs 3.9 Bn for the same period in 2020. This significant increase of 78.1% in profit after tax was the result of a 16.7% increase in total operating income coupled with strict cost controls and other innovative efforts implemented by the management. Considering the impact and uncertainty created by COVID 19 in the 1H 2020, the Bank provided a sufficient amount of impairment provision in that period. Since the Bank brought forward a sizable buffer of impairment provision from 2020, it did not require similar provisioning in 1H 2021.

As a result of the growth recorded in PAT, the return on Average shareholder’s Equity (ROE) increased by 533 bps to 12.91% as at 30th June 2021 compared to 7.58% reported at the end of the year 2020. In the meantime, Return on Average Assets (ROA) also increased to 1.67% as at 30th June 2021 against the 1.09% reported for the year 2020.

The Bank recorded a PBT of Rs 9.5 Bn for the first half of 2021 compared to Rs 5.3 Bn reported during the corresponding period in the previous year, denoting a growth of 79.3%. Driven by strong performance recorded by the Bank in the first six months of 2021, the Sampath Group too posted significant growth, with Group PBT and PAT growing by 86.1% and 88.2% respectively over the figures reported for the corresponding period. In the period under review, the Group recorded a PBT of Rs 10.1 Bn and PAT of Rs 7.5 Bn compared to the PBT of Rs 5.4 Bn and PAT of Rs 3.9 Bn recorded in the corresponding period.

The Bank’s Net interest income for the period under review was Rs 19.2 Bn compared to the Rs 17.4 Bn reported for the corresponding period in the previous year, reflecting an increase of 10.4%. Although interest income declined by 9.1%, it was compensated by the decrease recorded in interest expenses, enabling the Bank to record a growth in NII. The pandemic induced uncertainty and the global economic recession prevented businesses and individuals from investing in new projects and business opportunities, which in turn created a lower demand for credit. The lower demand for credit and the low interest rate regime are the main reasons for the 9.1% drop in interest income. The interest income of the Bank stood at Rs 41.9 Bn compared to Rs 46.2 Bn recorded for the corresponding period.

Meanwhile, owing to prudent fund management strategies, Sampath Bank was able to re-price its liability products in line with the prevailing lower interest rates. Timely re-pricing helped the Bank to register a decline in interest expenses. Interest expenses dropped by 21% to Rs 22.7 Bn in the first half of 2021 from Rs 28.7 Bn recorded for the same period in the previous year. This helped to boost the Bank’s NIM to 3.42% as of 30th June 2021, which is 12 bps higher compared to the figure recorded at the end of 2020.

Net fee and commission income (NFCI) recorded a growth of 33.5% from the figure reported in the corresponding period of the previous year. This segment comprises income from various sources such as credit, card, trade, and electronic channels. Growth in this segment was driven mainly by card-related activities. Comparatively higher business activities in Sri Lanka during the first half of 2021, was the main reason for the increase in card-related commission income.

Net other operating income increased by 27.9% in the first half of 2021 compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. This growth was mainly backed by the increase in realized exchange income stemming from the 7.5% depreciation of the Sri Lankan Rupee against the US Dollar. During the first six months of 2021, the Bank recorded Rs 3.3 Bn as net other operating income compared to Rs 2.6 Bn reported in 1H 2020. The Bank recorded a Net trading income of Rs 46.3 Mn in the period under review, compared to the Rs 106.5 Mn loss registered in the corresponding period of the previous financial year. On this basis, the Bank’s net exchange income from foreign exchange transactions amounted to Rs 3 Bn for the period under review.



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SLT-MOBITEL donates fourth PCR machine to Matara District Hospital

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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

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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

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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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