By Stelios Orphanides
The state-owned Cyprus Cooperative Bank said it generated a net loss of almost €8 million in the first six months of the year compared with a €49.8m net profit in the respective period of 2016.
The loss was mainly on reduced net interest income, which fell in January to June to €125.9m from €143.1m a year before and an increase in provisions by €67.9m against €22.5m in the respective period of 2016, the lender which said in an emailed statement on Friday. All this more than offset the reduction in overall expenditure to €81.5m from €86.5m.
The bank, which is working on its Cyprus Stock Exchange listing to prepare for a capital increase next year, said its non-performing loans stock fell by €38.1m to below €7.2 billion in June and account for 59.4 per cent of its loan portfolio. Still, loans with more than 90 days in arrears increased in the second half of the year by €64.3m to below €5.8bn.
The bank which announced in July an agreement with Spain’s Altamira governing the management of its delinquent portfolio said that it restructured a total of €377.1m in non-performing loans in the first six months of the year against €667.7m in the respective period of 2016.
Its common equity tier 1 (CET1) ratio rose to 15.42 per cent in June from 15.42 per cent in December, the Co-op said.
Customer deposits stood at €12.2bn at the end of June compared with €12.6bn in December, the bank said. Total gross loans stood in June at over €11.9bn compared with over €12bn in December.
“The Cyprus Cooperative Bank while in a difficult business environment, manages to maintain its size and market share in the two balance sheet categories, deposits and loans,” the bank’s chief executive Nicholas Hadjiyiannis was quoted as saying.
He added that the recent agreement with Altamira, as well as that with Citigroup which will serve as global coordinator in its capital increase, ‘support the strategy and business plan” of the corporation’. The Co-op is committed to the European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition to reduce the government’s stake, currently at over 99.2 per cent, to below 25 per cent with successive capital increases until 2020.
In March, the Financial Ombudsman ruled that the lender had to return €111m to overcharged borrowers, which forced the bank to revise its past years’ earnings.