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Credit cards market shines to top 800,000 base again

Sep 4, 2011 3:28:43 PM - www.ft.lk

The country’s credit card market continues to improve with the base topping the 800,000 mark once again after losing it in late last year.
The crossing of the 800,000 mark was in June as per latest provisional Central Bank data and the base of 816,160 reflects a 5% increase from end 2010. In May this year the base amounted to 797,795 cards.

The industry is welcoming the growth after the market suffered a steep decline from end 2008’s peak of 917,418 active cards base. Analysts linked the growth to reduced interest rates via a directive from the Central Bank as well as improvement in lifestyles, consumer spending as well as aggressive competition among issuers.

Outstanding balance as at end June was Rs. 33.6 billion, up from Rs. 31.6 billion in end 2010. In the peak year of 2008, the outstanding amount was Rs. 34.2 billion. Both volume and value dipped subsequently in tandem with volatility in consumer markets as well as the collapse of Golden Key.
The current base comprises 754,586 global cards and 61,574 local cards, up from 719,703 and 58,771 respectively as at end 2010. In fact local cards are at their highest levels whilst in global cards segment there is yet much ground to cover to surpass the highest of 859,777 recorded as at end 2008.

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