National Bank Group on Friday said it remained profitable for the second consecutive quarter, with net profits totaling 186 million euros in the January-March period, after a loss of 265 million euros in the corresponding period last year.
The bank said Finansbank contributed significantly in its profitability, with profits totaling 155 million euros, while its subsidiaries in Southeastern Europe also had a positive contribution after five quarters of decline. The bank said the creation of new bad debt provisions slowed in the first quarter at 616 million euros, from 662 million euros in the fourth quarter of 2012 and 1.244 billion euros –the peak in the second quarter of 2012. National Bank said provision/bad debt rate was 54 pct in the first quarter, while its pro-forma capital adequacy rate was 9.3 pct.
In Greece, net profits totaled 20 million euros, after losses of 384 million euros last year, reflecting a 10 pct cut in operating spending and a drastic cut in trading losses.
An increase in domestic deposits, which began at the end of the second quarter of 2012, continued during the first three months of 2013, reflecting improving confidence in the banking system and the bank. Option and time deposits grew by 18 pct compared with the same period last year, while saving deposits fell 7.0 pct in the same period. Deposits grew by 9.0 pct in general.
Alexandros Tourkolias, the bank’s chief executive, commenting on the results said: “A visible improvement in the economic climate understates the conviction that Greece has achieved significant progress in its effort to become more competitive and to achieve sustainable growth. In parallel, the banking sector witnesses a gradual but stable return of deposits and a relative improvement in the quality of its loan portfolio. In general, organic profitability of banks shows clear signs of recovery”.