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Hellenic Bank reports profitable 2015 despite difficult year

Hellenic Bank, Cyprus’ third-largest lender, reported on Friday that 2015 was a profitable year for the Group despite the difficult and challenging economic environment and the increased requirements of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM).
Hellenic Bank revealed that the Group posted profits of 13 million euros after booking all the additional 71 million euros provisions recommended by the SSM following its recent on-site supervisory review.
Profit attributable to shareholders of the parent company reached 12.1 million euros compared to loss of 118.6 million euros in 2014.
It is noted that the Bank’s capital position more than covers the additional requirements for provisions. It also offers a safety margin regarding the Bank’s Common Equity Tier 1 (CET 1) ratio.
After the additional provisions, the CET 1 stands at 14.8 per cent. The Group’s Capital Adequacy Ratio is 18.1 per cent and the Tier 1 Ratio is 17.7 per cent.
Non Peforming Exposures (NPEs) were down by three per cent in the fourth quarter of the year compared to the previous quarter. On 31 December 2015, the NPE ratio decreased to 59 per cent from 61 per cent in the third quarter.
The coverage ratio of NPEs increased from 46 per cent to 50 per cent and is in line with the EU average.
Hellenic Bank noted that the results of the last two quarters are “encouraging, demonstrating that NPEs management is on the right track.”
The pace of loan restructurings was accelerated in the fourth quarter of 2015 reaching 758 million euros at the end of 2015.
Net interest income increased by six per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015 to 37.1 million euros up from 34.9 million euros in the third quarter.
“The increase reflects the repricing of the loans and deposits which came into force in the beginning of 2015,” added the Bank’s statement.
The Group’s liquidity remained on a sound and healthy level, while the net loans to deposits ratio stood at 50 per cent.
On 31 December 2015, total gross loans reached 4.4 billion euros while deposits reached 6.1 billion euros.
The main targets for 2016 are, according to the Bank, the effective management of NPEs and the growth of the loan book.
In addition, achieving viable restructuring solutions remains a key priority for the Group.
Source: CNA