Emporiki sees losses soar in H1

French-owned Emporiki Bank, one of the biggest Greek lenders, recorded increased losses in the first half of the year, but is now placing emphasis on restructuring its loan portfolios. The Societe Generale subsidiary announced yesterday that, in the January-June 2009 period, losses amounted to 358.7 million euros, against just 15.1 million euros in the same period last year. The main reason for the rise in losses is the trebling of provisions for bad loans, which reached 370.3 million euros from 94.3 million last year. Some 194.8 million of that emerged in the second quarter of the year, due to a deterioration in the small and medium-sized retail enterprise portfolio. However, the bank has increased its corporate loan issuance by 12.5 percent to 12.8 billion euros, while loans to households reached 11.3 billion euros as a result of the slowdown in the domestic property market and the drop in demand for mortgage loans. The total loans issued came to 24.1 billion euros, posting an annual growth of 6.4 percent. Deposits fell by 8.2 percent to 16.2 billion euros. The bank’s administration suggested yesterday that it has now prioritized the increase in provisions, an improvement in the quality of the loan portfolio and the restructuring of its borrowing and deposits portfolios.