Lender Pi­raeus gets grip on bad debts

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

Pi­raeus Bank, Greece’s largest lender by as­sets, cut its bad loan pro­vi­sions dur­ing the sum­mer months to im­prove its net profit by 52 per­cent over the pre­vi­ous quar­ter. Pi­raeus, which is 26.2 per­cent owned by the coun­try’s bank res­cue fund HFSF af­ter its re­cap­i­tal­iza­tion late last year, said yes­ter­day net profit was 31 mil­lion eu­ros for July to Septem­ber, up from 20 mil­lion eu­ros. Pi­raeus, with a cur­rent mar­ket value of 1.25 bil­lion eu­ros, said loan-loss pro­vi­sions fell 9.0 per­cent to 242 mil­lion eu­ros in the third quar­ter, from 265 mil­lion in the sec­ond. “Ac­tive man­age­ment of non­per­form­ing loans con­tin­ues to yield sig­nif­i­cant pos­i­tive re- sults,” CEO Ge­orge Poulopou­los said in a state­ment. “On an an­nual ba­sis, loans in ar­rears have de­clined by 2.2 bil­lion eu­ros or 8 per­cent.” Pi­raeus said non­per­form­ing loans dropped to 38.8 per­cent of its loan book at the end of Septem­ber, from 39.2 per­cent in the sec­ond quar­ter. A wider mea­sure, non­per­form­ing ex­po­sures (NPEs), which in­clude NPLs and re­struc­tured loans likely to turn bad, were re­duced by 200 mil­lion eu­ros quar­teron-quar­ter and 1.1 bil­lion eu­ros year-onyear.

Tech­ni­cal dif­fi­cul­ties. The de­ci­sions of the new deputy fi­nance min­is­ter, Ka­te­rina Pa­panat­siou, on the road tax and the heat­ing oil sub­sidy will be an­nounced by next Mon­day, al­though it ap­pears tech­ni­cal dif­fi­cul­ties will pre­vent the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the changes on both fronts in time for this win­ter.

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