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News in brief: Bank of Maldives posts MVR300m profit

A “mobile laboratory” service was launched in Laamu atoll.



Bank of Maldives earned MVR300m in third quarter

The Bank of Maldives on Monday reported a profit before tax of MVR307 (US$20 million) for the third quarter of 2019.

“Operating profit of MVR 414m was up 5% on the previous quarter and YTD Operating Profit amounted to MVR 1.2 billion, up 4% on the same period last year,” BML said in a press release. “While funding cost, investment and provision charge increased, solid business volumes across all key business segments helped achieve this outturn. Capital and liquidity ratios finished the period well above regulatory requirements.”

BML CEO and Managing Director, Tim Sawyer, said: “With our sustained strong financial performance, we are pleased to continue the positive momentum created during the first half of the year. While investment costs and provisions increased, continued demand for our products and services have resulted in solid business volumes across key segments. We look forward to a positive end to the year and I would like to thank our hardworking team for their continued commitment and dedication.”

During the third quarter, BML opened new self service banking centres on five islands, introduced a US Dollar ATM in the capital’s suburb Hulhumalé and opened a new headquarters dedicated to Islamic finance services.

Chinese company enlisted to build office complex

The infrastructure ministry on Monday signed a contract with China’s Hunan No.6 Engineering Corporation to construct a new government office building in the capital’s suburb Hulhumalé.

The MVR185 million (US$12 million) project was awarded to be completed in a year, according to the ministry.

Prosecutor General’s office to review detention orders

Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath instructed the Prosecutor General’s office on Sunday to conduct a monthly review of court orders to detain criminal suspects held for the duration of trials.

The PG should seek court orders to release suspects who do not need to remain in custody, according to an amendment brought to the criminal justice policy. A detailed report on the PG’s efforts must be submitted twice a year to parliament.

As Maldivian courts do not hold consecutive hearings to speedily conclude trials, defendants remain detained for years due to stalled trials. Some 164 people have been detained for more than a year awaiting a verdict, an unnamed official told Avas.

‘Mobile laboratory’ service launched

The health ministry on Sunday launched a ‘mobile laboratory’ service to offer medical testing on all local islands.

Speaking at a ceremony held on Kunahandhoo island to introduce the service in Laamu atoll, Health Minister Abdulla Ameen said it was not feasible to establish laboratories on all inhabited islands at a cost of MVR400 million per island. Under the mobile services, samples would be collected and taken to the nearest island with a laboratory.

The government aim is to provide the service to all 186 local islands within a year, he said. At present, laboratory services are available on 90 islands.

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