Greek lenders Eurobank and NBG remain profitable, bad loans decline

ATHENS, July 29 (Reuters) – Eurobank and National Bank, Greece’s two biggest lenders by market value, made first-half profits, clearing their balance sheets of even more bad loans.

Eurobank reported net profit of 941 million euros ($957.28 million) compared to 190 million in the first half of 2021. Profit was boosted by a gain from the sale of a majority stake in its banking business. acquiring merchants at Cardlink.

“Major economies could enter recession, with heightened asset quality risks for the European banking sector. Greece shows better outlook, growth is estimated at 4% thanks to a record tourism season,” the CEO said. Fokion Karavias.

The bank’s strong results have led management to revise upwards this year’s targets, including return on equity which is expected to exceed an initial target of 10%, he said.

Eurobank’s net fee income rose 22.4% year-on-year to 256 million euros, with net interest income improving 4.5% to 700 million. Its ratio of so-called non-performing exposures fell to 5.9%.

Peer National Bank (NBG) reported lower net profit than the first half of last year due to lower trading revenue.

NBG, 40% owned by the country’s HFSF bank rescue fund, reported net profit from continuing operations of 490 million euros ($499.85 million) compared to 645 million euros in the first half of 2021.

The group’s NPE ratio improved to 6.3% from 6.7% at the end of March, with CEO Paul Mylonas saying the quality of its balance sheet was approaching that of its European peers, with no signs of recovery in the formation new bad loans due to high inflation.

On Friday, NBG announced it had agreed to sell 95% of the mezzanine and junior notes of a €1.0 billion securitized bad debt portfolio to funds managed by Bracebridge Capital. (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos, editing by Louise Heavens)

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