Hellenic Bank, the third largest Cypriot lender, said recently it had generated an after-tax loss of €45.7m in 2017, down from a €63.5m loss in 2016.
The bank’s earnings suffered a 5% decline, to €234.5m in 2017, mainly due to an 11% fall in its net interest income to €131.2m, Hellenic said in a statement. Its expenses rose 39% to €200.9m, mainly on the cost of the voluntary exit scheme offered to 231 of its workers last year with an impact of €41.3m.
While provisions for loan impairments fell last year to €82.9m from €115.2m in 2016, profit before provisions also dropped to €33.6m from €103.2m respectively, it said. The cost-to-income ratio deteriorated last year to 85.7%, from 58.3% in 2016.
However, non-performing loans fell to 53.3% at the end of December from 58.2% a the previous year, or below €2.2bn from €2.5bn.
The reduction was partly on the sale of €145m of bad loans announced in January. The provision coverage rose to 59.6%, from 54.9%.
The bank’s core equity tier 1 (CET1) ratio was 14.1% at the end of the year while the CET1 fully loaded ratio was 13.8%, it said.
Hellenic Bank’s total gross loans fell 6% last year to under €4.1bn, and its deposits dropped 5%, to €5.8bn, it said.
The bank’s chief executive officer Ioannis Matsis said that the last year, in which the lender launched its co-operation with the Prague-based non-performing loans specialist APS Holdings, marked the beginning of its “transformation journey,” after it made significant progress in its strategic priorities, including a drop in delinquent loans and selling a part of them.
As a result of the above, Matsis continued, the bank’s delinquent loans “are now about 19% lower than peak, partly also to an organic reduction which continued for nine consecutive quarters. It also extended fresh loans worth €0.5bn, he added,
“The group’s capital position is stronger today, with the group managing to absorb the costs related to the balance sheet strengthening initiatives, and voluntary early exist scheme during the last couple of years,” Matsis said. “The capital adequacy ratio, on a consolidated basis, was 17.7% on a fully loaded basis at December 2017, well above the minimum requirement”.
Source: Cyprus Mail