ECONOMY

Eurobank seen as reporting flat Q3 net

EFG Eurobank, Greece’s second-largest lender, is expected to report flat earnings growth in the third quarter on slower loan expansion in Greece and Southeast Europe and weak trading income. The lender is scheduled to annouce figures tomorrow after the close of trade on the Athens bourse. Six analysts polled by Reuters forecast on average net profits of 214 million euros versus 216 million in the same three-month period in 2007. Estimates ranged from 212 to 219 million euros. Analysts said decelerating lending growth at Greek banks will start to affect their bottom lines in the final quarter of the year, as the global credit crunch and slower economic growth start to bite. «Lower fee income and trading income, higher provisions because of adverse capital markets in the third quarter and a gloomy macro environment are weighing in,» analyst Petros Tsiourtis at Alpha Finance said. Greek bank shares, which have shed 42 percent in the last month, have been under pressure due to funding concerns and worries about the macroeconomic outlook in the Balkan emerging markets into which they have expanded. Earlier this month, Piraeus Bank, Greece’s fourth-largest lender, kicked off the reporting season for financials by showing a better-than-expected 12.5 percent increase in profits in the third quarter of the year to 157.3 million euros. (Reuters, Kathimerini)