ECONOMY

NBG jumps in wake of H1 figures

Shares in National Bank, Greece’s largest lender, jumped more than 4 percent yesterday as better-than-expected-profit for the first half of the year fuelled buying interest from foreign and domestic investors. Shares in National rose 4.55 percent to 30.30 euros, following Thursday’s 3 percent climb, versus a 0.76 percent climb of the Athens bourse’s benchmark general index to 3,292.69 points. National Bank, which has a market capitalization of just over 15 billion euros, reported late on Thursday a 15 percent rise in first-half net profit to 835 million euros thanks to solid lending growth in Greece and southeastern Europe. Analysts were expecting a net profit figure of around 808 million euros on average. «National has begun to see results in its cost containment efforts due to staff-reduction initiatives, while its Turkish investment is doing well», said a broker. NBG – also present in Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Albania and Egypt – said Turkish subsidiary Finansbank generated 29 percent of group net earnings.