There was a slight increase in the absolute numbers of non-performing loans (NPLs) in Cyprus in January of this year, with the ratio of NPLs to total loans remaining stable at 7.9 per cent.

According to a report released on Friday by the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC), the balance of NPLs, based on the European Banking Authority’s guidelines, rose to €1.9 billion, marking an increase of €7 million from the previous month.

The balance of loans overdue by more than 90 days reached €1.58 billion, reflecting an increase of €11 million compared to December 2023, with the percentage holding steady at 6.2 per cent.

Year-on-year, there was a reduction in NPLs, which decreased by €420 million compared to January 2023.

Loans overdue by more than 90 days also saw a significant reduction, down by €360 million over the same period.

The total amount of loans in January 2024 stood at €24.02 billion, slightly down from €24.07 billion in the previous month.

Additionally, the percentage of accumulated provisions against NPLs increased to 50.1 per cent from 49.5 per cent in the previous month.

Revised loans amounted to €1.55 billion in January, down from €1.62 billion in December 2023, with €850 million of these still classified as NPLs.

The slight rise in NPLs is attributed to an increase in non-performing business loans, which reached €780 million in January, with €720 million of these from small and medium-sized enterprises.

This is up from €770 million in December 2023. In contrast, household NPLs remained essentially unchanged at €1.07 billion.

The coverage ratio for corporate NPLs in January was 66.3 per cent, while the coverage ratio for household NPLs stood at 38 per cent.