Business Times

Sampath wants to be 3rd player in credit cards

By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera

The Sampath Bank (Sampath) is gearing to reposition itself in the topnotch in the credit card business, while also trying to zero in on a common corporate image in a bid to snazzy up its building exteriors, according to SB officials.

“By year end, we want to be in a top position in the credit card business. Currently we are at the sixth place and we want to reposition SB at the third place,” Aravinda Perera, Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer told the Business Times on the sidelines of an investor forum organized by the bank early this week.

He said Sampath is also planning to make maximum use of its corporate colours, orange and silver to the maximum advantage and reposition their image. “Starting with all the buildings that we own Sampath plans to come out with a common design to help people identify the bank,” he explained. He said the designs are presently at the drawing boards and that within the next few days the team will finalize them.

Pre-tax profit of the bank for 2009 crossed the Rs. 3.9 billion mark, registering a growth of Rs. 1.4 billion or 55.1% over the previous year, while the profit of the bank crossed the Rs. 2.1 mark, rising by Rs. 684.4 million or 48.4% and over 2008.

Based on the enhanced profits, all key financial ratios of SB recorded a significant improvement in 2008 with the Total Capital Adequacy Ratio improving to 13.45% as at the end of December 2009, compared to 11.95%, as at the end of December 2008, which were all the above the minimum statutory requirement of 10% stipulated by the Central Bank.

“Even after redemption of debentures and settlement of several large parcels of borrowings, the bank’s overall Liquidity Ratio stood at 30.5% at the end of December 2009, well above the minimum statutory requirement of 20%,” Ranjith Samaranayake, Group Chief Financial Officer, said.

The total deposit base of the bank grew from Rs.106.9 billion in 2008, to Rs. 125.7 billion as at last year by Rs. 18.8 billion or 17.5%. “However despite this deposit growth, the total asset-growth of the Bank during the period was only Rs. 17.6 billion 12.7%, mainly due to redemption of debentures totaling to Rs. 1.5 billion and settlement of certain term borrowings totaling to Rs. 2 billion, during the period.” Mr. Samaranayake said.

The sale of 4.12 million shares, (inclusive of the bonus shares so far received) of the Bank’s Overseas Associate Lanka Bangla Finance Ltd. to take the advantage of the high share prices currently prevailing in the Dhaka Stock Exchange resulted in a profit of Rs 1,559.2 million and the bank being able to repatriate the full sale proceeds of US $ 14.1 million in 2009.

Due above increases, the total Net Income of the bank recorded a growth of 27.6% in 2009.

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