ECONOMY

Emporiki says losses grew in 09

Emporiki Bank, majority-owned by France’s Credit Agricole, said net losses picked up last year to more than half a billion euros, adding that it doesn’t expect to see profits until 2011. Emporiki said net losses for 2009 rose to 582.6 million euros from 491.8 million in the previous year as provisions for loan losses jumped 35.4 percent to 658 million euros. «The rationalization of our network, the improvement of our loan portfolio and deposit mix and the implementation of new credit control and collection processes have started to deliver results in the right direction,» said Alain Strub, Emporiki Bank’s vice chairman and CEO. Greece’s first recession in 16 years in 2009 has hit banking activities, prompting a hard slowdown in credit growth and a rise in the number of consumers unable to pay back loans. Shares in Emporiki jumped 5.31 percent to 3.77 euros on the Athens bourse yesterday versus a 1.27 percent advance on the broader market.