Cyprus Popular Bank warns on profit

Cyprus’s Popular Bank, part-nationalized after writing down huge exposure to Greece, said on Tuesday its first-half earnings were expected to be worse than a year ago after booking higher provisions for bad debt.

Popular, the country’s second-largest bank, sought state aid after exposure to a restructuring of Greek debt depleted its regulatory capital and was unable to raise 1.8 billion euros in funds privately by a mid-year deadline.

Cyprus was then forced to seek a bailout from its European Union partners to prop up the bank, since the country has no funds of its own. The Mediterranean island, which represents about 0.2 percent of the euro zone economy, is in consultation with international lenders, including Russia, for aid.

“Total provisions for bad debts, and other possible impairments for the six months ended June 30 is expected to be higher compared to provisions of the corresponding period last year,» Popular said in an announcement released on the Cyprus Stock Exchange. [Reuters]