Moderate losses for Alpha after derisking process


Alpha Bank slipped into the red in the fourth quarter after booking costs related to a voluntary retirement plan and fixed asset impairments.

Alpha, 11 percent owned by Greece’s bank rescue fund HFSF, on Tuesday reported a net loss from continuing operations of 64 million euros after a net profit of 35.6 million euros in the third quarter.

The country’s fourth-largest lender by assets booked one-off costs of 92.7 million euros for a voluntary redundancy scheme and a 76.1-million-euro annual fixed asset impairment charge in the fourth quarter, squeezing its bottom line.

“In 2017 we took a number of decisive actions to derisk our balance sheet,” chief executive Dimitris Mantzounis said in a statement.

He said the sale of more than 400 million euros of nonperforming loans in Romania and the disposal of a 3.7-billion-euro portfolio of Greek retail unsecured NPLs reflected the bank’s focus on cleaning up its balance sheet.

“Throughout 2018 we will continue to focus on reducing NPLs in line with our targets, eliminating emergency liquidity assistance support and making our franchise leaner and more efficient,” the CEO said.

Alpha’s ratio of NPLs – loans overdue by more than 90 days – came down to 34.9 percent of its book from 37.3 percent at the end of September.

Provisions for sour debt fell 18.3 percent quarter-on-quarter to 244 million euros from 298 million euros in the third quarter.