Saturday, 25 February 2017

Senthilverl sells 11% of Bogawantalawa to Metropolitan

Dr. T. Senthilverl, a major investor in companies quoted on the Colombo Stock Exchange, had last week sold a 9.3 million share block (1l.1%) in Bogawantalawa Tea Estates PLC to Metropolitan Resource Holdings PLC, the controlling shareholder of Bogawantalawa at Rs. 10 a share, the Secretaries to Bogawantalawa disclosed in a Stock Exchange filing.

Seylan Bank achieves milestone - Profit After tax exceeds Rs. 4 billion in 2016

Results at a glance

* Total assets up by 20% to Rs. 356Bn

* Net Loan book grows by 22% to Rs. 236Bn

* Customer deposits grows by 22% to Rs. 273Bn

* Profit after tax improves by 4.7% to Rs. 4,010Mn

In the backdrop of challenging external environment, Seylan Bank reported a resilient performance. The Bank recorded a Profit after tax of Rs. 4,010 Million for the year ended 31st December 2016, which is the highest profit reported since its inception.

Net interest income recorded a moderate growth of 12.03% as a result of the strong balance sheet growth. Net interest Margin contracted from 4.42% in 2015 to 4.19% in 2016 due to Cost of deposits increased at a faster rate.

Net fee and commission income witnessed a 15.04% growth from Rs. 2,697 Million to Rs. 3,103 Million during 2016, mainly attributed to core banking related business.

Other operating income comprising of net gains from trading, gains on financial instruments, gains on foreign exchange and other income decreased by 13.05% from Rs. 1,624 Million reported in 2015 to Rs.1,412 Million during 2016 mainly as a result of mark- to-market losses on Government Securities, due to the upward movement in interest rates.

Total Expenses recorded an increase of 12.76% from Rs. 8,625 million to Rs. 9,725 million. Expenses growth was witnessed by a higher proportion of investments being made towards branch upgrading and refurbishments, continuous development in human resources and technology which resulted in the underlying expenses increasing rapidly over the previous period. Bank continues to focus on Cost Management through strategic cost management initiatives and through the implementation of lean concepts.

The Bank reported a significant net credit growth of 22.22%, with net advances growing from Rs. 193,104 Million to Rs. 236,020 Million during 2016. The Gross NPA ratio has also improved to 4.47% in 2016 compared to 4.68% in 2015.

CASA growth slowed down with a notable shift from low cost to fixed deposits seen across the industry mainly due to increasing interest rates. As a result Bank’s CASA ratio (current & savings accounts) stood at 32.5% and total Time Deposits increased from 63.71% by end of year 2015 to 67.5% as at 31st December 2016 of the total deposit base. The overall deposit base recorded a growth of 21.79% from Rs. 224,525 Million by end of 2015 to Rs. 273,456 Million by 31st December 2016.

Consequently, the Bank’s Earnings per Share (EPS) grew from Rs 11.11 to Rs. 11.63. The Bank recorded a Return (profit before tax) on Asset (ROA) of 1.76% and Return on Equity (ROE) of 15.18%. The Bank’s Net Asset Value per share as at 31st December 2016 was Rs. 80.51 (Group Rs 84.13).

By end 2016 the Bank network comprised of 166 Banking Centres, 100 Student Savings Centres and 202 ATMs. Bank will continue to grow the Branch network to reach a larger spectrum of customers and widen the Bank’s geographical presence mainly to strengthen their on-going support for the growth and development of Small and Medium Scale (SMEs) Enterprises in the country. Further the Bank also re-located and refurbished 14 branches during the period to provide enhanced services to its customers.

The Bank remains well capitalised with a strong core capital adequacy ratio of 10.74% and total capital adequacy ratio of 13.18% as at 31st December 2016. In October 2016, Fitch reviewed the Bank’s rating and reaffirmed the Bank’s rating at ‘A-lka’ with a ‘stable’ outlook in January 2017.

Having successfully completed its 2012-2016 strategic plan and achieving significant strides in terms of SME coverage, retail growth, branch expansion and process improvement the Bank embarked upon developing its new 2017-2020 strategic plan in consultation with the Boston Consulting Group. The new plan will focus on an ambitious growth strategy built on the pillars of excellent customer service, product innovation and value addition aided by digital transformation.

As a responsible corporate citizen, the Bank continued focusing on education which has been the choice and centre of attention of its CSR activities. During the year 40 school libraries were opened taking the overall number of libraries opened under the project to 120 under "Seylan Pehesara" Project.

Media Contact

Tilan Wijeyesekera DGM (Marketing) Seylan Bank – 077 2268 600
Adahas PR : Kumar de Silva 0777 379 973.Tharindra Abeysekera 0777 560 611
www.island.lk

AIA Delivers Another Excellent Set of Results

VONB up 28per cent on constant exchangerates

Operating profit up 15 per cent — Final dividend up 25 per cent


The Board of Directors of AIA Group Limited ("AIA"; or the "Company"; stock code: 1299) is pleased to announce that AIA has delivered excellent results for the year ended 30 November 2016. Highlights are shown on a constant exchange rate basis:

Excellent growth in value of new business (VONB)

* 28 per cent growth in VONB to US$2,750 million

* 31 per cent increase in annualised new premiums (ANP) to US$5,123 million

* VONB margin of 52.8 per cent

Strong operating profit generation

* IFRS operating profit after tax (OPAT) up 15 per cent to US$3,981 million

* IFRS operating earnings per share up 15 per cent to 33.25 US cents

* Embedded value (EV) operating profit up 19 per cent to US$5,887 million

* Operating return on EV (ROEV) increased to 15.4 per cent

Robust cash flow and resilient capital position

* Underlying free surplus generation of US$4,024 million, up 11 per cent

* Free surplus of US$9.8 billion

* EV Equity of US$43.7 billion; EV of US$42.1 billion, up 12 per cent

* Net remittances of US$2.0 billion

* Solvency ratio for our principal operating company, AIA Co., of 404 per cent on the HKICO basis

Significant increase in recommended final dividend

* 25per cent increase in final dividend to 63.75 Hong Kong cents per share

* Total dividend of 85.65 Hong Kong cents per share, an increase of 23 per cent

Mark Tucker, AIA’s Group Chief Executive and President, said:

"AIA has delivered an excellent set of results in 2016. We have achieved record new business profits, significant earnings growth, strong free surplus generation and a step up in shareholder dividends. Today’s headline figures, with VONB up by 28 per cent, and our consistent track record of year-on-year profitable growth are the direct result of the strong fundamental growth drivers in the Asia-Pacific region, our highly-diversified and resilient business model and our commitment to building a high-quality, sustainable business for the long term.

"The Board has recommended a further step up of 25 per cent in the 2016 final dividend from our higher base in 2015 to 63.75 Hong Kong cents per share. This dividend uplift reflects our excellent financial performance and our confidence in the future outlook for the Group.

"AIA has been in Asia for close to a century. The powerful structural economic, social and demographic changes taking place across the region present an unparalleled opportunity for the Asian life insurance industry and one which AIA, with our distribution reach, trusted brand, financial strength and people capabilities, is in an advantaged position to capture.

"We have made an excellent start to 2017 with strong value of new business growth in the first two months of our financial year. We have clear strategic priorities in place and are committed to building on our strong competitive advantages by helping our customers meet their long-term financial needs through our products and services. This provides us with a strong foundation to deliver profitable growth and long-term value for our shareholders, as we help our customers live longer, healthier, better lives and plan for a brighter future."
www.island.lk

Hotel Nippon opens to public after Rs400mn refurbishment

Nippon 1(LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Hotel Nippon has reopened for tourists looking for a more sophisticated level of accommodation with a 400 million rupee renovation and refurbishment.

“The hotel aims to cater to a completely new demographic and is equipped and designed to receive guests with various needs,” the hotel said releasing a statement.

“It aims at medical tourists, budget travelers looking for a more sophisticated level of accommodation, the business tourist who wants to be close to the Central Business district.”

The building was first built as Manning Mansions, apartments for the British during their rule, and was later converted to Hotel Polski briefly and then Hotel Nippon.

It is currently owned by 4 brothers: V.K. Chandrasena, V.K. Vasan, Dr. V.K. Valsan and the late V.K. Prasannan, all sons of the late Vethody Kumaran.

They have maintained some key elements of the building’s history, like the 130-year-old Burma teak staircases that runs through two areas of the building, and the 130-year-old antique Seth Thomas grandfather clock.

The iron beams that run through the skeletal structure of the building are all still in place since the time Nippon was first built as Manning Mansions, and have embossed seals on them that state their factory of origin.
They are from England during the mid 19th century.(LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Hotel Nippon has reopened for tourists looking for a more sophisticated level of accommodation with a 400 million rupee renovation and refurbishment.

“The hotel aims to cater to a completely new demographic and is equipped and designed to receive guests with various needs,” the hotel said releasing a statement.

“It aims at medical tourists, budget travelers looking for a more sophisticated level of accommodation, the business tourist who wants to be close to the Central Business district.”

The building was first built as Manning Mansions, apartments for the British during their rule, and was later converted to Hotel Polski briefly and then Hotel Nippon.

It is currently owned by 4 brothers: V.K. Chandrasena, V.K. Vasan, Dr. V.K. Valsan and the late V.K. Prasannan, all sons of the late Vethody Kumaran.

They have maintained some key elements of the building’s history, like the 130-year-old Burma teak staircases that runs through two areas of the building, and the 130-year-old antique Seth Thomas grandfather clock.

The iron beams that run through the skeletal structure of the building are all still in place since the time Nippon was first built as Manning Mansions, and have embossed seals on them that state their factory of origin.
They are from England during the mid 19th century.

Singer Sri Lanka to subdivide ordinary shares by April

(LBO) – Singer Sri Lanka has decided to subdivide its ordinary shares in the proportion of three shares for every one existing share held as at the end of trading on 31st March 2017.

The company said in a stock exchange filing that the number of existing issued ordinary shares will then be increased from 125,209,610 to 375,628,830 without affecting an increase in the stated capital of 626 million rupees.

The increase of shares by way of a sub-division is however subject to the approval of controller of exchange and shareholder approval at a general meeting scheduled to be held on 31st March 2017.

On 7th March 2011, the company initially resolved to increase the number of ordinary shares amounting to 62,604,805 by subdividing them in the proportion of 2 for 1 without affecting an increase in the stated capital.

After the initial subdivision, the number of ordinary shares representing stated capital increased to 125,209,610.

In 2011, the company also amended its Articles of Association in order to permit the share split and increase of shares through an ordinary resolution.

“Sub-divide (split) all or any of its shares issued at the time with the objective of increasing the number of shares in issue leaving un-affected the relative voting and distribution rights of the holder of those shares.” new Articles of Association showed.

Sri Lanka Mackwoods mulls investments in mature hydro power projects

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan energy firm Mackwoods Energy said it is considering investments in more mature hydro power projects, which already have approval given continuing delays in getting approvals for its own projects.

The firm is also exploring projects in other renewable energy segments such as solar, wind, bio-mass and bio-gas, and waste to energy projects in line with the company’s objectives of diversifying into the renewable energy sector, a stock exchange filing said.

“In view of the persistent delay in implementation of mini hydro power projects, including transmission lines and grid availability issues, the company is exploring investments in more mature hydro power projects that already have approval,” the statement said.

Sri Lanka 02-year Treasury Bonds yield 12.89-pct at auction - central bank

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s central bank said it sold 02-year Treasury Bond to yield 12.10% at an auction Thursday.

The public debt department of the central bank got bids worth Rs21.4 billion for the 02-year bonds maturing on 15 January 2019 and accepted bids worth Rs9 billion, a statement said.

It sold 04 year and 10 months to yield 12.89 percent at the auction, 07 year and 05 months –bonds to yield 12.89 percent and 09 year and 05 months bonds to yield 12.91 percent.