Business Times

ComBank to expand to Nepal, Myanmar, Cambodia and Indonesia

The Commercial Bank plans to expand into neighbouring countries, such as Nepal, Myanmar, Cambodia and Indonesia following its success in Bangladesh and the Maldives, according to its new chairman Dinesh Weerakkody.

He made these comments in the bank's annual report for 2011. The bank recently released its full year financials, to end-December 2011, wherein it reported a group income of Rs. 45.46 billion, up 9.60% year-on-year. Further, the bank also recorded a group Profit after Tax (PAT) of Rs. 8.09 billion, an increase of 46.92% since end-December 2010. In addition, also shown were gross dividends amounting to Rs. 4.9 billion, up 85.37% year-on-year, and revenue to the government of Rs. 4.19 billion, down 36.24%.

A part of its 2011 Annual Report (AR), the bank's financials also showed its total Sri Lankan assets to be valued at Rs. 441 billion, which made it the country's largest private sector bank. The bank said turnover volumes of its debit cards went up by 60% over 2010 totals. Additionally, it also suggested that its plan to grow debit cards outside the Western province was helped along by seasonal promotions in the Eastern province.

It said vehicle leasing had dominated its leasing portfolio at Rs. 20.8 billion, up 85% year-on-year.
Deposit taking at its Bangladeshi and Maldivian international operations were up from Rs. 24.45 billion in 2010 to Rs. 25.67 billion in 2011, with Profit before Tax being virtually the same.

It suggested a number of future drivers for growth, including enabling e-commerce functionality for its debit cards, growing its pawning business, which had already seen a five-fold increase over the course of 2011, and offering a remittance card so beneiciaries could withdraw remittances directly from ATMs.
Outgoing Chairman Mahendra Amarasuriya, said: "Having served the bank 25 years as a director, 16 years of which as the chairman, I am proud of the bank's great transformation. Commercial Bank has for more than a decade now been the benchmark among private sector banks. I consider myself fortunate to have led the bank during this period and to retire in one of its many banner years."

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