“SL economy converging on path of recovery, growth”
National Development Bank PLC’s (NDB) Director/ CEO Dimantha Seneviratne stated that it is encouraging to note the Sri Lankan economy converging on the path of recovery and growth.
“The banking sector has always been a key catalyst in national economic prosperity and as our country emerges from a deep setback, we are strongly aligned in supporting such momentum. There was much uncertainty around the Government of Sri Lanka’s domestic debt optimization (DDO) mechanism which exerted considerable pressure on the industry and the options extended to banks has removed ambiguity and has helped lessen the risk premia added to interest rates.”
“We anticipate similar clarity on international debt restructuring. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s (CBSL) timely policy rate relaxation together with the DDO finalization has enabled the moderation of historically high interest rates and we are passing on this benefit to our customers which will stimulate economic activity,” he mentioned.
“Banks shoulder the noble responsibility of powering the growth of the Sri Lankan economy and extending support to the customers at this critical juncture, and NDB is well focused on the same,” he further added.
Meanwhile NDB reported post tax profitability of Rs. 2.3 billion for the six months ended 2023 (H1 2023), an increase of 37% over the same period in the prior year (YoY/ comparative period).
Pre-tax profitability was Rs. 4.2 Bn, a YoY increase of 55%. The Bank posted total revenue of Rs. 66.7 Bn for H1 2023, up by 50% YoY driven by sound performance of all income categories save and except for other operating income.
Net interest income (NII) remained largely static over the year and was Rs. 15 Bn. Interest income of Rs. 63.2Bn (YoY growth 70%) and interest expenses of Rs. 48.2 Bn (YoY increase 117%) drove the NII. Re-pricing of the lending book in line with market rate movements and the increase in investment portfolio at relatively high rates resulted in the YoY increase in interest income.
The Bank has taken initiatives on a best effort basis to reduce the cost of funding at a faster pace than the expected downward re-pricing of the lending book, with the reduction in policy rates introduced in June and July 2023 of 450 bps. Net Interest Margin (NIM) for the period closed at 3.7%.
Fee and commission income was Rs. 3.7 Bn, an increase of 19% YoY driven mainly by trade activities, digital transactions and card transactions. Other operating income comprised Rs. 3.2 Bn revaluation loss on account of the rupee appreciation on the Bank’s foreign currency reserves. Impairment charges for the six months ended 30 June 2023 were Rs. 7.9 Bn, a YoY reduction of 43%, primarily due to higher impairment provisions made for FCY Investments in the same period of 2022.
The Bank’s total assets closed at Rs. 793 Bn as of June 30, 2023, whilst the same at the NDB Group level was Rs. 800 Bn. This was a 5% reduction over December 31, 2022 position.
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