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RETAIL BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, India
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Hatton National Bank's profit up 13% to US$15.39 million

Increased earnings from fixed income securities and customer deposits pushed Hatton National Bank's net interest income up by 18 percent to US$61.67 million.The Bank's profit after taxation also grew to 13 percent with US$15.39 million, recording a top line growth of 12 percent to US$172 million.The interest income for the period under review grew by 16 percent, driven mainly by interest from investments in fixed income securities. Interest expenses also witnessed a 15 percent increase mainly from the growth witnessed in customer deposits. The Bank's deposit base continued to grow by over 6 percent enabling the Bank to boast of surpassing Rs 200 billion or US$1.739 billion mark in customer deposits by end June 2009.But a drop of 18 percent was witnessed in income from foreign exchange as a result of the decline witnessed in foreign trade as well as stringent regulations imposed for booking forward exchange which resulted in a significant drop in forward booking of currencies.The slowdown in economic activities in the Country has significantly reduced the demand for private sector credit, this coupled with the stringent risk management policies introduced by the Bank have contracted the net loans and advances portfolio by 6 percent to US$1.435 billion in the first half of 2009. HNB’s Group profits also witnessed significant growth of 31 percent for the first half amounting to US$14.87 million driven by the robust performance shown by the Bank as well as its insurance subsidiary HNB Assurance Ltd. HNB Assurance profits grew by a significant 37 percent year on year, showing its emergence as a strong force in the insurance industry.

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