Vol­un­tary exit scheme weighs on Al­pha re­sults

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

Greece’s fourth-largest lender Al­pha Bank re­ported a third-quar­ter loss yes­ter­day be­cause of the costs re­lated to a vol­un­tary re­dun­dancy scheme for its staff. Al­pha, which passed the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank’s stress test last month, fell to a net loss of 156.9 mil­lion euros after tak­ing a charge of 194.5 mil­lion euros on the scheme, which cut its staff by 20 per­cent. Com­par­a­tive fig­ures for the third quar­ter of 2013 were not pro­vided. In the nine months to the end of Septem­ber, Al­pha re­mained prof­itable, re­port­ing net earn­ings of 110.5 mil­lion euros thanks to a 422-mil­lion-euro de­ferred tax ben­e­fit in the sec­ond quar­ter. Al­pha, 66.4 per­centowned by Greece’s HFSF bank res­cue fund, added 337 mil­lion euros in pro­vi­sions in the third quar­ter, rais­ing the group’s ac­cu­mu­lated bad-debt pro­vi­sions to 12.7 bil­lion euros. The bank’s non­per­form­ing credit was flat quar­ter-on-quar­ter at 33.6 per­cent of its loan book at endSeptem­ber. Lower whole­sale fund­ing costs helped Al­pha in­crease its net in­ter­est in­come by 21.1 per­cent year-on-year to 1.44 bil­lion euros.

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