Union Bank recorded a resilient performance within the first six months of 2020 amidst many challenges triggered by the Covid-19 outbreak in Sri Lanka from March this year.
Commencing from April 2020, the Bank began to immediately roll out the customer financial relief programmes recommended by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) with special focus on affected customers in the Corporate, SME and Retail Banking segments.
Within the review period, the Bank had approved debt moratoria worth Rs. 22.2 Bn under the CBSL recommended debt relief scheme providing extensions for repayment of capital and interest on loans granted. Loan facilities for approximately Rs. 40 Bn were granted with payment extensions for two months. Further, a significant number of affected customers have been granted debt relief schemes outside the CBSL defined criteria, in–line with the Bank’s internal credit policy guidelines. Amongst the schemes that were considered for moratoria are Loans and Leases, Overdrafts, Pawning and Trade Finance facilities. Additionally, non-performing borrowers who had requested for relief schemes have also been provided customised re-schedulements, inclusive of waivers on accrued interest whilst withholding further recovery action.
Union Bank’s core banking activities compressed in the second quarter amidst the country-wide lock-down that prevailed in the month of April up until mid-May.
Amidst the challenging economic landscape, the average prime lending rate (AWPLR) dropped by approximately 250bps and the Treasury Bill rates too showed a declining trend. The Bank implemented a downward revision of interest rates on various lending schemes including credit cards in line with the directives of the Central Bank. Union Bank has also taken measures to provide loans at concessionary rates for Working Capital requirements of SMEs and exporters by participating in the CBSL credit schemes including the Saubhagya Covid-19 Renaissance Facility.
Maintaining healthy liquidity levels within the Bank, and employee and customer safety remained key management priorities while rolling out relief schemes to mitigate the negative impact of Covid-19 on the diverse customer segments of the Bank. Within the period under review from January to June 2020, the average fixed deposits remained stable whereas total average CASA ended at Rs. 21,444 Mn, an increase of 13% over last year. Efforts of maintaining a healthy CASA inflow was supported through focused acquisition strategies driven by retail, corporate and SME banking segments. The CASA ratio of the Bank was 25.8% by end of the reporting period.
Accordingly, Union Bank’s Net Interest Margin declined from 3.4% to 3.2% within the review period. Credit Card late payment fee and other fee waivers issued to customers until September 2020 in-line with the CBSL guidelines aiming to support the customers affected by the pandemic coupled with a decline in economic activity caused a reduction of the overall fee income by about 26% during this period.
The Bank’s Treasury recorded a notable performance with a significant YoY increase of 68% in capital gains. Other Operating Income of the Bank increased on the back of exchange rate deflation by 6% during the said period.
Newly developed Sathosa Motors Service Complex to service all vehicle brands
Sathosa Motors PLC and its new state-of-the-art vehicle service complex, is now serving not just Isuzu but also any brand of vehicle.
Pioneering automotive specialist, Sathosa Motors is the sole authorized agent for the world-renowned Isuzu brand, but the newly developed service complex will now undertake all kinds of services required for any brand of vehicle.
The internationally trained specialists are ready to serve you at the Sathosa Motors Service Complex now on weekdays from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm and on Saturday from 8.00 am to 1.00 pm at No 25, Vauxhall Street, Colombo 02.
Sathosa Motors PLC guarantees its customers reliable and convenient service and will undertake vehicle inspections, periodic maintenance, body and under carriage washing, interior cleaning and beautification, engine tuning, error diagnosis, accident repairs, air condition repairs, and many more at a highly affordable rate.
In addition, genuine spare parts, as well as lubricants and industrial services are available at discounted prices at the Service Complex.
Sathosa Motors PLC aims to provide high quality services at all times and all services are carried out strictly under health guidelines due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic situation.
Sathosa Motors announces that it has decided to keep all branches of the Sathosa Motors service network open to continue to serve its customers.
CSE trading bullish despite rupee hitting historic low against dollar
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
CSE trading activities were bullish despite Sri Lanka’s rupee registering a historic slump against the US dollar at 202/205 to the one month dollar in mid morning trade yesterday, after opening at around 200/203.The stock market moved up, though, anticipating March quarterly results to be exceptional. This is expected to be particularly true of the Hayleys Group and Expolanka. Accordingly, investors seem to be re-entering the market after January, stock market analysts said.
Further, approval of the US $ 500 million Chinese loan and the fact that the Port City Bill has been tabled in parliament have lifted investor sentiment in a significant direction of the stock market, market analysts said. Amid those developments, both indices moved upwards, especially the All Share Price Index went up by 1.22 percent. The All Share Price Index rose by 92.35 points and S and P SL20 went up by 19.21 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 4.72 billion with four crossings.
Those crossings were reported in JKH, which crossed 922,000 shares to the tune of Rs. 137.8 million, its shares traded at Rs. 149.25, Commercial Bank 950,000 shares crossed for Rs. 82.7 million, its shares traded at Rs. 87, HNB 155,000 shares crossed for Rs. 26.5 million, its shares traded at Rs. 132 and Ceylon Cold Stores 33,500 shares crossed for Rs. 20.1 million, its shares fetching Rs. 600.
In the retail market, five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Browns Investments Rs. 793.6 million (123.1 million shares traded), LOLC Rs. 463.4 million (1.32 million shares traded), Royal Ceramic Rs. 442 million (1.2 million shares traded), Hayleys Rs. 442 million (five million shares traded), Dipped Products Rs. 372.3 million (6.2 million shares traded). During the day 197.3 million share volumes changed hands in 30480 transactions.
The market was quite bullish from the beginning and LOLC Group companies led the market. It is said that LOLC contributed 25.5 points to the All Share Price Index. Browns Investments 9.8 points and Vallibel One contributed 8 points to the All Share Price Price Index while Commercial Leasing contributed six points.
‘Embark on that long-awaited getaway with Emirates and enjoy special fares’
Emirates is launching seasonal fares that enable aspiring globetrotters to plan exciting adventures around the world as well as for students preparing to travel overseas. With Emirates’ generous booking policies, customers have the option to lock in these special fares and extend ticket validity for up to three years, enjoying greater flexibility and confidence when planning travel during unprecedented times.
Travellers in Sri Lanka can look forward to flight deals on all routes in Emirates’ global network, with return fares starting at only Rs 68,700 in Economy Class or Rs 257,500 in Business Class. These special seasonal fares are available for bookings made from 13 to 26 April 2021, and are valid for travel between 16 April and 30 September 2021*.
Featured destinations and starting Economy Class fares include: US$ 342 (about Rs 68,700 at current exchange rates) to Dubai, US$ 654 (about Rs 131,300) to Milan, US$ 644 (about Rs 129,300) to Paris, US$ 1,117 (about Rs 224,200) to New York, US$ 1,303 (about Rs 261,500) to Toronto and US$ 966 (about Rs 193,900) to Nairobi.
Special Business Class fares start at US$ 1,283 (approximately Rs 257,500) to Dubai, from US$ 3,127 (about Rs 627,600) to Milan, US$ 2,860 (about Rs 574,000) to Paris, US$ 3,618 (about Rs 726,100) to New York, US$ 3,654 (about Rs 733,300) to Toronto and US$ 2,179 (about Rs 437,300) to Nairobi. All fares in Rupees are subject to the rate of exchange on the day of purchase.
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