The Sunday TimesBusiness

17th March 1996



Commercial Bank reports exceptional growth

By Ashiff Hussein

Commercial Bank recorded a post tax profit of Rs. 329.04 million for 1995, which is up 132% from the net profit of Rs. 141.68 million recorded for the previous year.

The year has been described as "an exceptionally successful year for the Bank" by its Chairman Mahendra Amarasuriya.

Net interest income as well as non-interest revenue recorded satisfactory growth, while significant productivity gains through effective computerization of services helped reduce operating costs, the Bank's annual report said.

"Gross income grew nearly 13 per cent to Rs. 2.75 billion, profit before tax rose to Rs. 489 million from the previous year's Rs. 239.7 million. Total assets of the Bank grew by Rs. 1.5 billion and stood at Rs. 19 billion at the year's end," the report adds.

Mr. Amarasuriya attributed the spectacular growth in profits to "a strategy of increasing revenue from the Bank's fund-based and fee-based operations, containment of operating costs and reducing the provision for loan losses."

He said that Commercial Bank, which handles around 14 percent of the country's entire export turnover and in heavily involved in export sector banking, has of late embarked on an expansion programme. "We soon hope to operate branches in eight more areas, including Chilaw, Katugastota, Ratnapura and Nuwara Eliya," he said.

Referring to the Bank's computerization drive, Mr. Amarasuriya said that two new branches at Aluthgama and Kaduwela, as well as three existing branches were linked to the Bank's ICBS system. The network now covers 18 branches.

"It is our intention to link the remaining branches to the ICBS system in accordance with our IT plan, so that we could extend the convenience of a fully integrated on-line, real-time banking system to all our customers soon," Mr. Amarasuriya said.

Committee to study corporate governance

By Asiff Hussein

A Committee to make recommendations on matters relating to financial aspects of Corporate Governance was recently appointed by the Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL).

Institute's President Reyaz Mihular said the rationale behind the formation of the Committee is the formulation of a code of professional ethics specifying, besides other matters, the duties and responsibilities of Directors, Shareholders and Auditors in corporate entities, that could eventually find its way into legislation as in the UK.

He said that in order to gain acceptance of the business community and relevant governmental agencies, the 10-member Committee would include only 3 members from the Chartered Accountants community, "so that the Committee cannot be identified with the parochial interests of Chartered Accountants."

"The composition of the Committee reflects a 'pooling of views' of all parties involved in corporate governance."

Mr. Mihular said that all activities of the Committee will be funded by the Institute.

He said that the Committee would be given one year to come up with the code and that its final report would be out by February 28, 1997.

"The Institute has pledged that it would canvass to get the code legally incorporated, as part of its contribution towards capital market development". "We welcome a feedback from the public in this connection", he added.

The ICASL was responsible for the introduction of the Sri Lanka Accounting and Auditing Standards Act No. 15 of 1995.

The following have been appointed to the Committee:

Chairman - Nivard A.L. Cabraal, Past President, ICASL and Vice-President OPA;

Members - K.J. Chitrasiri. Registrar of Companies; Dylan Moldrich, Director General, Colombo Stock Exchange; Arittha Wikramanayake, Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka; S. Easparathasan, Senior Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Romesh de Silva, President's Counsel; Angelo Patrick, Past President, CIMA - Sri Lanka Division; G.C.B. Wijeyesinghe, Past President, ICASL; Channa Gunasinghe, Chairman, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce; Mahendra Amarasuriya, Deputy Chairman, Hayleys; Secretary - D.B. Andarawewa, Director, Administration, ICASL.

Return to the Business contents page

Go to the Business Section Archive


Home Page Front Page OP/ED News Sports

Please send your comments and suggestions on this web site to or to