The Cooperative Central Bank said that it generated €62m in net profit in the first nine months of the year, compared with a net loss of €228m in the respective period of 2015, mainly on reduced provisions for loan impairments.
From July to September, the lender, 99 per cent owned by the government after being recapitalised with almost €1.7bn in taxpayers’ money since 2014, generated €6.9m in net earnings, compared with a loss of €274.7m in the respective three-months period of 2015, it said in an emailed statement on Wednesday. In the nine months to September, it booked €42m in provisions compared with €372.2m a year before.
The bank saw its non-performing loans rise in September to 59.8 per cent from 59.3 per cent in June as a portion of its total loan portfolio, or by €50.6m to almost €7.4bn, the bank said. In December, the non-performing loans ratio of the bank was also 59.3 per cent.
“We opted to divert the largest portion of our organic profits in the third quarter towards strengthening provisions while maintaining a (core equity tier 1) capital ratio of 16.5 per cent,” the bank’s chief executive officer Nicholas Hadjiyiannis was quoted as saying. “In the time remaining until year end, we continue our (loan) restructuring efforts expecting to have restructured more than €1.2bn in loans in a year”.
Hadjiyiannis added that the bank, which is planning a listing on the Cyprus Stock Exchange and a an issue of new shares in order to attract private investors, reduced its 90 days-past-due loans by more than €1bn.
“Our aim is to maintain the Coop’s positive performance and complete a plethora of projects in progress to improve performance,” he said. “Staying this course allows us to decisively go ahead with creating a modern organisation, making it attractive and useful for the country and the economy”.