By Stelios Orphanides
Non-performing loans in the Cypriot banking system dropped by €650m in March to €23.2bn, the most spectacular monthly drop since June last year, the Central Bank of Cyprus said.
The monthly drop of non-performing debt in March to 46 per cent of total loans, was mainly on a €469.6m reduction of unserviced loans extended to small and medium size enterprises to €9.4bn, the central bank said in a statement on its website on Wednesday. The total corporate non-performing loans reduction was €486.6m to €10.7bn.
Households reduced their non-performing loans by €93.2m to just below €12bn in March compared to February. The reduction in the case of other financial corporations and the general government was by €66m and €4.3m to €450.4m and €39.2m, the bank supervisor said.
The amount of loans with 90 days in arrears was €17.4bn in March, down by €364.1m compared to February, the central bank said. Total loan restructurings dropped by €234.8m to €13.1bn with almost 71 per cent of it considered cured. The accumulated provisions for loan impairments stood at €9.9bn, up by €8.6m.
From December 2014 when the central bank put in place the current methodology in determining non-performing loans, which provides for a minimum 12-month probation period, to March this year, the total amount of non-performing loans fell by €4.1bn against a €6.7bn drop in total lending to €50.5bn, the central bank data show. The drop was mainly on a €2.9bn reduction in delinquent corporate debt followed by a €1.2bn decline in the case of households