In Brief

Alpha Bank Q3 profit seen off 29 percent Alpha Bank, Greece’s third-biggest lender, is expected to say third-quarter profits fell 29 percent as loan-loss impairment charges increased. Net income was probably 154 million euros ($194.5 million), down from 215.7 million euros a year earlier, according to the median estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Lending income may have increased 12 percent to 464.3 million euros, the survey showed. Loan-loss provisions may have more than doubled to 120 million euros from 55.1 million euros last year, according to the survey. In the first nine months of the year, profits may have dropped 15 percent from a year ago because gains from the bank’s sale of an insurance unit weren’t repeated. Stripping out those gains, profit slid 3.4 percent to 569 million euros, according to the analysts. The company was scheduled to report earnings yesterday after the Athens Exchange closed. (Bloomberg) Demand for three-year gov’t bond increases Greece enjoyed the successful reopening of a three-year government bond yesterday as demand increased from a previous auction in July, with the average yield dropping to 3.90 percent versus 4.84 percent. The amount sold in a competitive tender of the 3-year, 3.8 percent March 2011 GGB issue was 1.3 billion euros topped off with an extra 260 million in non-competitive bids, Greece’s debt agency said. The bid-to-cover ratio, a key gauge of investor demand, improved to 3.86 from 3.04 times the amount tendered competitively in a previous July auction. «There was great interest because of the higher return Greek bonds have in relation to other eurozone bonds,» said Fanis Mylonas, chief trader at EFG Eurobank. «The bond was inexpensive with the weighted average yield retreating due to the worldwide cuts in interest rates by central banks,» he said. Greek bonds, seen as peripheral eurozone assets, have historically been the highest yielders in the eurozone. (Reuters) Tourism drop Tourism arrivals to Cyprus dropped by 2.6 percent in October from the previous year, its statistics department said. Total arrivals in the month stood at 267,866, down from 275,103 in October 2007. Cyprus attracts around 2.5 million visitors annually, with tourism generating between 10 and 15 percent of its gross domestic product. Total arrivals so far this year have reached 2,233,721 people, down 0.6 percent from 2,247,596 in the corresponding period last year. In October, the island saw a 4.9 percent drop in tourist arrivals from its main market Britain, down to 142,868 from 150,301 in October 2007. Numbers from Germany fell 5.7 percent and from Sweden, 20.2 percent. (Reuters) Plans steady Major Turkish lender Akbank said yesterday it had not made any changes in its growth targets. In a statement to the stock exchange regarding media reports that it had cut staff by around 1,000 last week, the bank said it had increased its staff by a net 1,663 so far this year to 15,176. Akbank said some staff had left the company due to retirement or after-performance assessments, but it did not give a figure for this. (Reuters)