Greek banks Alpha, Eurobank report fall in quarterly profit

May 30, 2019

By George Georgiopoulos

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek lenders Alpha and Eurobank reported a drop in profit in the first quarter on Thursday, hurt by lower trading gains and a fall in net interest income.

Alpha Bank, Greece’s fourth largest lender, reported net profit from continuing operations of 27.5 million euros ($30.58 million), down from 65.4 million euros in the same period a year earlier. It reported a net loss of 800,000 euros in the last quarter of 2018.

The lender, 11% owned by the country’s bank rescue fund HFSF, said provisions for bad debt fell to 178.3 million euros from 336 million euros in the same period a year earlier and 669 million euros in the fourth quarter.

Greek banks are working to reduce their bad debts and meet targets on so-called non-performing exposures (NPEs) agreed with European Central Bank regulators.

Alpha’s non-performing loans ratio dropped to 33% of its book from 33.5% at the end of December.

Peer Eurobank, Greece’s third-largest by assets, reported a 43% drop in net profit from continued operations compared to the same period a year earlier, hurt by a fall in net interest income.

Eurobank, which is 2.4% owned by the country’s HFSF bank rescue fund, reported net earnings of 20 million euros ($22.24 million), down from a profit 35 million euros in the first quarter of 2018.

Credit loss provisions fell 1.5% year-on-year to 165 million euros. So-called non-performing exposures (NPEs) dropped to 36.7% of its loan book from 37% at the end of December. The company said cleaning up its balance sheet remained its top priority.

He said Eurobank has received binding offers for a 2-billion-euro securitization of sour residential mortgages and non-binding offers for a multi-asset securitization of about 7.5 billion euros.

($1 = 0.8994 euros)

(Editing by Deepa Babington)

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