Hourican says confidence in BoC improved dramatically

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By Stelios Orphanides

Bank of Cyprus’s chief executive officer John Hourican said confidence in the bank has improved “dramatically” over the past years in which the lender performed better than expected.

Speaking to the Beijng-based Global Times, which published a special report on Cyprus on Monday, Hourican said Cyprus’s largest lender gained the trust of the Cypriot society by exceeding expectations, including in reducing non-performing loans.

“We’ve now taken 22 per cent of gross domestic product off our balance sheet, which is 15 times more than any other bank in Europe,” the Irish banker was quoted as saying. “Another way to put it is last year we took €3bn off of our balance sheet, similar to the progress of the entire Greek banking system over the same period”.

Hourican also said that the island’s geographic position could help China connect to Europe “in a more organised way” while Chinese investment could determine the future of the Cypriot economy.

“It’s under Asia, above Africa, and at the very edge of Europe,” he said. “I believe that smart Chinese money should look at Cyprus because it’s an €18bn economy, so a €1bn investment is 6 per cent of gross domestic product. You can change the nature of the entire country with a relatively small investment from China”.

The full interview is available here.

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About Author

Stelios Orphanides is a journalist at CyprusBusinessMail.com. To contact Stelios Orphanides: [email protected]

  • Jim

    Confident statement. Strange how the banks shares dropped over 4.5% on the London stock market this morning.

  • Kevin Ingham

    Any economy that does not have properly functioning banks is at a comparative disadvantage to similar economies.

    Dysfunctional banks have to charge viable businesses and ordinary customers more to cover their losses, find it difficult to finance innovative business with new loans, or extend overdrafts to potentially profitable business to make them more competitive.

    As long as banks have circa 45% of their loans non performing none of that can change .That’s the bottom line

    The line about Chinese investment is of course crucial- China can buy up or bail out the country with loose it’s change. That sort of “stability” never goes down well with cash strapped locals in any country

  • Bruce

    This is more nonsense from Hourican.How can you have confidence in a bank which is just shedding its assets like he did with the failed and still fragile Bank of Scotland. BOC share price has fallen by over 15 % since trumpeted listing on the London Stock Exchange and turnover has declined compared with that previously on CSE.
    Hourican should get about and collect debt repayments from the powerful oligarchs including the “elite” of hoteliers, developers ,lawyers and accountants and lend to finance entrepreneurial activity in research, innovation and real development, before claiming any success in the management and fortunes of the BOC.

    • peemdubya

      Bruce, you forgot the politicians in your list of “elite”………………

      • Bruce

        Completely agree as they constitute part of the ruling oligarchs of Cyprus.

  • “Hourican says the moons a balloon”

    • peemdubya

      Excellent autobiography by David Niven.

  • Wanderer

    Go to Alexa dot com. Enter bankofcyprus dot com dot cy. Observe a chart showing steadily falling traffic.