Aspis Bank shows loss in first half

Aspis Bank, one of the country’s smaller lenders, yesterday reported a first-half loss of 30.5 million euros as slower loan growth and an increase in money put aside for bad loans offset benefits from cost reduction. Aspis, which has a market value of 73 million euros, said loans after provisions fell 5.6 percent from the end of last year to 2 billion euros. Provisions for bad loans increased 49 percent to 16 million euros versus 11 million in the first half a year earlier, «due to the adjusted provisions policy arising from the negative economic climate.» In a bid to boost its capital base, the bank’s shareholders approved a 120-million-euro rights issues at the end of July. Aspis said net interest income fell to 7 million euros from 23 million in the same period a year earlier while operating expenses fell by 21 percent to 44.6 million euros. Its shares on the Athens bourse fell yesterday 2.56 percent to 1.14 euros, versus a 1.72 percent retreat on the broader market.