ECONOMY

Alpha up on profit figures

Shares in Alpha Bank, Greece’s third-largest lender, jumped more than 6 percent yesterday after its first-quarter earnings beat market expectations. Shares in Alpha Bank rose 6.17 percent to 8.60 euros versus a 2.69 percent advance on the broader market. After the close of trade on the Athens bourse on Tuesday, Alpha Bank reported a 58.2-percent year-on-year drop in first-quarter net profits to 85.7 million euros on slower loan growth and higher provisions. Analysts were forecasting an average figure of 75.7 million euros. Proton Securities said in a note that high trading gains helped pushed net income higher but pointed out that Alpha’s core revenue generation was weak. «Apart from the weak core revenues, the key highlight was the relatively modest increase in nonperforming loans and levels of provisions,» it said. «This increases confidence that doomsday scenarios can be left behind, though we believe visibility is thin as the macroeconomic environment remains challenging.»