Sampath Bank’s Net Interest Income up by 23% in Q 1
2019 Despite Challenging Economic Conditions
The Bank has reported a net interest income of Rs 10.2 Bn for Q1 2019 reflecting noteworthy growth
of 23.2% over the figure reported in Q1 2018, a significant achievement especially given the
challenging economic conditions that prevailed throughout the period.
The Bank recorded Profit after tax of Rs 2.2 Bn, a negative growth over the corresponding period in
2018, due to several factors including higher impairment provisions, volatile interest rates, currency
uncertainty and higher taxes including Debt Repayment Levy all of which worked against growth in
Q1 2019. Over and above this, the economic slowdown also had a domino effect causing a negative
impact on the Bank’s business expansion strategies.
Meanwhile the Sampath Bank Group reported Group PAT of Rs 2.1 Bn.
The comparative figure for Q1 2018
In order to improve the comparability and the consistency of the Group’s Financial Statements, the
Bank adjusted comparative figures disclosed in Q1 2018 related to collective impairment provision
based on Sri Lanka Accounting Standard – SLFRS 9 (Financial Instruments).
Fund based income (FBI)
Net Interest Income (NII), which is the main source of income representing more than 79% of the
Bank’s total operating income, recorded a significant increase of Rs 1.9 Bn (23.2%) in Q1 2019 in
comparison to Q1 2018. Accordingly, the Bank recorded NII of Rs 10.2 Bn in Q1 2019, as against Rs
8.3 Bn recorded for Q1 2018.
The above achievement was made possible due to timely re-pricing of asset and liability products and
other fund management strategies adopted by the Bank. The decision by the regulator to reduce the
SRR from 7.5% to 6.0% with effect from 16th November 2018 followed by a further reduction to 5%
with effect from 1st March 2019 also had a positive impact on NII. The Bank managed to improve its
NIM from 4.41% as at 31st December 2018 to 4.54% in Q1 2019.
Non fund based income (NFBI)
Net fee and commission income, which largely comprises of credit, trade, card and electronic channel
related fees recorded Rs 2.3 Bn in the quarter under review, a marginal decline over the figure reported
in Q1 2018. The decline was kept to a minimum due to the strong market uptake for innovative value
additions offered through electronic channels as well as appropriate action to expand the credit card
The Net gain from financial investments recorded a marginal growth of 1.4%, due to increase in
dividend income earned from financial assets. The Sri Lankan rupee, which depreciated against US
dollars during Q1 2018 by Rs 2.00 showed an appreciation of Rs. 7.00 in Q1 2019, had a significant
impact on the Bank’s total exchange income for Q1 2019, which declined by Rs 858 Mn for the quarter.
Net trading income recorded a strong growth and stood at Rs 1.5 Bn for the quarter under review,
bolstered by significant revaluation gains on forward contracts. This was the result of tactical strategies
to maximize forward contract margins in a highly volatile exchange rate environment.
Other operating income decreased by 191% owing to the exchange loss recorded in Q1 2019 due to
the sharp appreciation of the Sri Lankan Rupee against the US Dollar. Consequently, the Bank recorded
a loss of Rs. 1.2 Bn for Q1 2019 under the other operating income category.
The Bank’s operating expenses, which amounted to Rs 4.7 Bn in 1Q 2018, increased to Rs 5.1 Bn
during the period under review, reflecting a YoY increase of 9.9%. Higher personnel expenses
triggered by salary increments and an increase in other operating expenses driven by business
expansion together with inflation-led general price hikes were the main reasons for the aforesaid cost
escalation. Consequently the cost-to-income ratio excluding DRL, VAT & NBT on financial services
show a marginal increase of 0.1% from 39.5% in 1Q 2018 to 39.6% in 1Q 2019.
Impairment charge on loans and receivables
Highly volatile economic and political conditions prevailing in the country affected many key
economic sectors since 2018. This trend continued in 2019 as well, undermining the financial
performance of many businesses. Consequently, non-performing advances of all banks including
Sampath Bank which was on the rise throughout 2018 continued to further increase in Q1 2019 as well.
As a result, Sampath Bank’s NPA increased to 4.87% in Q1 2019 from 3.69% reported as at 31st
December 2018. Despite the challenging conditions however, the Bank was able to control the growth
of non-performing advances by taking proactive measures throughout the period.
As a result of increase in non-performing advances, impairment charge of individually significant
customers increased from Rs 0.5 Bn in Q1 2018 to Rs 1.5 Bn in Q1 2019. The collective impairment
charge also increased to Rs 1.8 Bn in Q1 2019 compared to Rs 1.4 Bn recorded in Q1 2018, this is
mainly due to aforementioned portfolio deterioration.
The Bank recorded a total tax charge of Rs 2.2 Bn for the Q1 2019 which is 50% of the operating profit
before taxes on Financial Services (including Debt Repayment Levy of Rs 485 Mn). The Government
has removed most of the tax concessions previously enjoyed by the banking industry via the new Inland
Revenue Act that came into effect on 1
st April 2018 and even thereafter continued to introduce new
taxes such as Debt Repayment Levy in October 2018. As a result, the Bank was liable to pay
substantially higher amount of taxes in Q1 2019 compared with previous quarters despite the tax
reversal on account of new exemption granted on SLDB interest income with retrospective effect.
Sampath Bank’s total asset base stood at Rs 911 Bn as at 31st March 2019 (Rs 914 Bn as at 31st
December 2018). Gross loans & receivables from other customers recorded a marginal growth of 0.9%
(annualized 3.6%) during the period by moving up to Rs 674 Bn as at 31st March 2019 (up by Rs 6 Bn
from the position reported as at 31st December 2018). Deposit from other customers too increased by
Rs 5.2 Bn, recording a marginal growth of 0.8% (annualized 3.2%) during this period to touch Rs 696
Bn as at the reporting date. The CASA ratio as at 31st March 2019 stood at 33.5%, recording a slight
improvement compared to the position as at 31st December 2018 (33.4%).
Return on Assets (ROA) before income tax for Q1 2019 declined to 1.27% compared to 2.13% reported
in 2018 and Return on Equity (ROE) after income tax also declined, from 16.02% as at 31st December
2018 to 10.38% in Q1 2019. The reduction in these ratios is the result of lower profitability coupled
with a 31% increase in the average equity base as a result of rights issue in April 2018. The Statutory
Liquid Asset Ratio (SLAR) for the Domestic Banking Unit and the Off-Shore Banking Unit were both
maintained well above the mandatory requirement of 20% throughout Q1 2019, and ended up at
22.82% and 28.36% respectively as at 31st March 2019.
The Bank’s Common Equity Tier I Capital, Tier I Capital and Total Capital Adequacy ratios as at 31st
March 2019 was at 11.72%, 11.72% and 16.19% levels respectively, all well above the minimum
regulatory requirement of 8.5%, 10.0% and 14.0% respectively, applicable as at the reporting date.