BUSINESS

Eurobank swings to profit in 2016

TAGS: Business, Banking

Eurobank was profitable for a fourth straight quarter in October-December but earnings shrank despite slightly lower provisions for bad debt.

The third-largest Greek lender by assets, in which the national bank rescue fund owns a 2.4 percent stake, on Wednesday reported net earnings of 38.3 million euros, down 55 percent from 85 million in the third quarter.

For 2016 as a whole, Eurobank reported a net profit of 230.1 million euros after a loss of 1.18 billion in 2015.

Greek banks including Eurobank are struggling with problem loan portfolios after a deep, protracted recession pushed unemployment to record highs, making it hard for borrowers to service their debts.

“Our main goal for 2017 is to remain profitable despite the deterioration of the economic climate in Greece and uncertainty which affects economic activity,” Eurobank CEO Fokion Karavias said in a statement.

“Above all, we are focused on the challenge of reducing our nonperforming exposures stock to levels agreed with regulators,” he said.

Eurobank reduced its credit-loss provisions by 2.4 percent to 186.4 million euros in the fourth quarter from 191 million in the third.

[Reuters]

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