Bank of Cyprus 9M earnings flat

Bank of Cyprus (BoC), the island’s largest lender, said yesterday nine-month net profit was flat and that it was sticking to its full-year targets, adding that it was shielded from the financial crisis. Nine-month net profit rose 1 percent to 375 million euros from 369 million euros in the same period a year earlier. Earnings per share dipped marginally, 0.5 percent, to 65.9 cents from 66.2 cents in 2007. «The bank has no exposure to high-risk derivative products and has minimal reliance on wholesale (lending), whereas 80 percent of the group’s assets are funded by customer deposits,» it said in a statement. Looking toward the remainder of the year, BoC expects to meet its 540-million-euro profit target. «The selective growth of the group’s operations in the new markets with the application of conservative credit policies is expected to positively contribute to our results,» it added. BoC will propose the payment of a 0.15-euro-per-share interim dividend to its shareholders. The bank has a presence in Cyprus, Greece, Australia, Britain and Romania and recently acquired 80 percent of Uniastrum, a Russian bank.