BUSINESS

Lenders in good shape for NPL reduction

YIANNIS PAPADOYIANNIS

TAGS: Banking

Greek banks managed to meet their targets for the reduction of nonperforming loans (NPLs) in the second quarter of the year, analysts note, stressing that this will continue to represent the biggest challenge for local lenders in the coming months too.

The publication of the April-June results showed that all systemic banks achieved a reduction in their nonperforming exposures – by almost 2 billion euros in total. National Bank cut its NPEs by 300 million euros, Alpha’s were down 500 million, Eurobank achieved a 400-million-euro drop and Piraeus 500 million euros. The reductions were achieved by stemming the creation of new bad loans and forgiving some old debts.

Goldman Sachs commented that National and Alpha are on course to meet their targets for slashing NPLs and underscored the improvement in their liquidity. It also noted the improvement in the quality of Piraeus Bank’s loan portfolio, but suggested it might struggle to meet its next target for bad loan reduction. As for Eurobank, Goldman Sachs stressed its improvement in terms of NPEs and the prospect of replacing preference shares with a bond issue, forecasting that Eurobank will meet its NPL reduction target for 2017.

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