National seen posting 6 pct drop in profits

National Bank, which bought Turkey’s Finansbank in 2006 as part of its regional expansion strategy (photo), is expected to post a 5.9 percent drop in 2008 net profits on slowing credit growth in Greece and Southeastern Europe and higher loan-loss provisions. The bank, scheduled to report figures on Tuesday, is expected to show net profits of 1.53 billion euros, down from 1.62 billion euros in 2007, according to a Reuters poll of analysts. Estimates ranged from 1.38 billion to 1.62 billion euros. Analysts saw a falling trading income and weaker growth in net interest income behind the lower profits. Provisions necessary to face the deteriorating economic environment in Southeastern Europe are also expected to weigh on results.

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