The Central Bank (CB) says that licensed banks could pay cash dividends and licensed foreign banks could repatriate profits following the completion of the audit of their financial statements for 2020.
“The Central Bank of Sri Lanka reassessed the restrictions, and on 19 January 2021 permitted licensed banks to pay cash dividends and repatriate profits after completion of the audit of the financial statements for the year 2020,” the CB clarified today.
However, the CB stressed that it expects the licensed banks to consider assets growth, business expansion, and the impact from COVID-19 pandemic when deciding on payment of cash dividends and repatriation of profits for 2020.
On the 13th of May last year, the CB decided to restrict certain discretionary payments of licensed banks, such as declaring cash dividends and repatriation of profits, engaging in share buybacks, increasing management allowances and payments to the Board of Directors until 31 December 2020 with a view to strengthening the liquidity and capital positions of licensed banks under exceptional circumstances amidst COVID 19 pandemic.
Under directions issued last week, the licensed banks are still required to refrain from engaging in share buybacks and increasing non-essential expenditure, while exercising extreme due diligence and prudence when incurring capital expenditure until the 30th of June this year.