BUSINESS

Piraeus Bank CEO: NPL rate must fall to single digits

EVGENIA TZORTZI

TAGS: Banking

The local banking system will have to bring the ratio of nonperforming loans to total loans down to single digits through extending its endeavors beyond 2019 with the submission of new plans up to 2022, Piraeus Bank chief executive Christos Megalou told the lender’s general shareholders meeting on Friday.

Megalou stressed that the systemic banks will make the most of all instruments at hand, including the sale of loan portfolios, the liquidation of the assets of enterprises that cannot generate value, and the restructuring of companies that can be streamlined. “Our goal is to achieve the best possible combination that will allow us to bring the delayed loans down to internationally accepted levels.”

Piraeus group head Giorgos Hatzinikolaou said that “the five credit rating upgrades of the country in 2018, the most recent being that by Standard & Poor’s, are a significant indication of the reduction of risk and the gradual restoration of confidence, after the completion of the program.”

He added that the bank expects the economy to post growth of close to 2 percent this year, “while the recovery course is expected to be stronger in the coming years,” thanks mainly to tourism, industry and retail sales.

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