Eurobank becomes profitable from January to September, provisions for loan losses fall by 25%

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Adds details, CEO comment

ATHENS, November 25 (Reuters)Eurobank EURBr.AT, one of Greece’s four largest lenders, posted profits in the first nine months amid lower provisions for bad loans and higher commission income, after reporting losses during the same period a year earlier, he said Thursday.

The bank, 2.4% owned by the country’s HFSF bank bailout fund, reported a net profit of € 216 million compared to a net loss of € 1.08 billion in the same period of 2020.

Provisions for loan losses fell by 25.3% over one year to 318 million euros, its so-called non-performing exposures (NPE) falling to 7.3% of its loan portfolio to 2.9 billion against 14, 9% at the end of September 2020.

“This is the first time that a Greek bank has reported a single digit ratio in the past 10 years, sending a strong signal of financial return to normal,” Managing Director Fokion Karavias said in a statement .

Banks in Greece have struggled to shrink an estimated € 30 billion stack of bad debt, a legacy of a decade-long financial crisis that shrunk the country’s economy by a quarter.

Eurobank’s net commission and commission income increased by 18.4% year-on-year to EUR 326 million, mainly due to commissions from network activities, rental income and loans, a he said. This more than offset a 2.0% drop in net interest income.

Its net interest margin fell to 1.90% from 2.05% in the nine months of the previous year.

(Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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