Cyprus Popular posts 23 pct decline in Q1 net income

Cyprus Popular Bank Pcl, the island?s second-biggest bank, posted a 23 percent decline in first-quarter net income after provisions for bad loans climbed and Greece?s debt crisis worsened.

Profit fell to 54.8 million euros from 71 million euros in the same period a year earlier, the Nicosia-based bank said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday.

The decline was limited by an 84.7-million-euro tax gain, the company added.

Provisions for bad loans jumped more than 51 percent to 119 million euros as the economies of Cyprus and Greece, its two main markets, deteriorated.

In Greece, the proportion of the bank?s nonperforming loans climbed to 22.8 percent, up 330 basis points from the fourth quarter of 2011, the lender said.