NTB said on Wednesday that it is in discussion with at least three parties to raise between US$ 30 and $ 35 million from overseas lenders before the year’s end.
Deputy CEO and CEO-designate Renuka Fernando told NTB’s second annual investor forum that the bank was seeking alternative funding sources on a medium to long-term basis as a means to increase credit growth from 18% to 23% as permitted by the Central Bank if such funds are sourced from overseas.
Of the planned amount, around $ 13 million will further strengthen Tier 2 Capital and the foreign funding is of five-year tenure.
NTB’s capital position is at a sound Rs. 9 billion with capital adequacy ratios both at Tier 1 and 2 maintained at comfortable levels.
Among other banks to recently tap overseas markets were NDB, which raised $ 50 million via its first international loan syndication, and HNB, which raised $ 25 million in the second quarter via the German Development Finance Institution DEG.
In the first half of this year, credit growth at NTB was 13% to Rs. 71 billion but Fernando said that the bank expects a higher disbursement in the second half.
“We are confident of reaching the 23% and we still see appetite for credit in select customer groups despite relatively high interest rate scenario,” she added.
Fernando said the 13% moderate growth in the bank’s loan book in the first half was a conscious effort, growing rapidly within set limits by the Central Bank.
“Our disbursements will reflect a growth of 21% in the next few months and end the year at 23%,” Fernando said. Last year credit growth at NTB was 30%.
She told the investor forum at which NTB Chairman Ronnie Peiris and several Directors were also present that given the interest and exchange rates scenario as well as dip in imports, NTB had stepped up focus on the exports sector as well as Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and tourism.
At present the loan book of NTB comprises of 36% via corporate banking, 25% via leasing, and retail SMEs (16%), with the latter showing rapid growth in a span of two years. The rest of the composition covers consumer (14%) and cards (9%).
In the first half NTB achieved a post tax profit of Rs. 893 million, up by 21% from a year earlier. It said core-earnings posted good growth over 2011 with revenue increasing at a higher rate of 13% compared to an expense growth of 11%.
The performance was primarily driven by four strategic business units comprising of Retail and SME, Credit Cards, Corporate Banking and Treasury, which recorded both volume growth and profit growth for the period.
Leasing also performed well despite industry wide challenges arising from the changes in the import tax structure for vehicles. The bank continued to progress well in diversifying its portfolio and earnings base while optimising returns in a controlled growth environment.