Hatton National Bank PLC, the country’s second largest private lender by assets, saw its third quarter (3Q19) earnings falling amid muted core banking operations, higher provisions on possible bad loans and contraction in its loan book
HNB reported earnings of Rs.6.96 per share or Rs.3.5 billion for the quarter under review compared to earnings of Rs.9.84 per share or Rs.4.9 billion reported for the same period, last year.
The banking group reported flat net interest income of Rs.13.6 billion for the period as interest expenses rose at a faster pace 5 percent year-on-year (YoY) compared to interest income which grew only 3 percent YoY.
The net fee and commission income fell 2 percent YoY to Rs.2.5 billion.
HNB incurred a trading loss of Rs.1.9 billion for the quarter under review compared to a trading gain of Rs.196.8 million a year ago.
The banking group’s total operating income edged up by 1 percent YoY to Rs.19.4 billion thanks to 245 percent YoY increase in net other income to Rs.3.01 billion.
The impairment for loans and other losses during the quarter rose 31 percent YoY to Rs.2.09 billion.
HNB’s gross bad loans ratio rose 4.71 percent as at September 30, 2019, from 2.78 percent end-December 2018, indicating a deterioration in asset quality.
For the nine months ended September 30, 2019, the banking group reported earnings of Rs.16.80 per share or Rs.8.4 billion compared to earnings of Rs.25.45 per share or Rs.12.7 billion reported for the same period, last year.
Net interest income for the nine months rose 11 percent YoY to Rs.42.8 billion.
“The focus on CASA deposits enabled HNB to grow its CASA base to Rs.270 billion resulting in an 11 percent YoY growth in net interest income over the corresponding nine month period ended September 2018,” HNB said in an earnings release.
The fee income for the nine months fell marginally compared to the previous year.
“The decrease in income from trade finance was a key reason as the country saw a slowdown in import volumes during the year mainly due to lower vehicle imports,” HNB said.
However, the bank reported a negative loan growth for the nine months period as the bank-level loan book contracted 5 percent or Rs.39 billion to Rs.709.2 billion from end-December 2018.
As a result, the total assets base of the bank remained virtually unchanged at Rs.1.09 trillion from end-December 2018.
The deposit base of the bank also reported a marginal growth to Rs.801.1 billion.
As at September 30, 2019, HNB had comfortable capital buffers.
The government owns over 25 percent stake in HNB through the Employees’ Provident Fund, Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation Limited and National Savings Bank.
Harry Jayawardena-controlled Milford Exports Ceylon Limited, Stassen Exports Limited and Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka collectively have a 17.83 percent stake in the bank but their voting rights are limited to 10 percent.