By Stelios Orphanides
Since August 1, the state-owned Cyprus Cooperative Bank has reduced its non-performing loans by €670m to €6.5bn, an executive was quoted as saying by the Cyprus News Agency (CNA).
Varnavas Karounas, who was talking to reporters on Monday, said that by applying a new strategic plan, the lender, was able to reduce its delinquent loan portfolio by 13 per cent since 2015 when it peaked at €7.6bn, CNA reported.
The new strategic plan helped achieve a 9 per cent reduction since August 2017 alone, he added.
Nicholas Hadjiyiannis, the chief executive officer of the bank, recapitalised with €1.7bn in 2014 and 2015, said he expects that next year — when an agreement with Spain’s non-performing loans specialist Altamira kicks in — will bring considerable changes in the administration of delinquent loans, including loan sales.
In the first nine-months of the year, the bank posted €63.3m in net losses compared to a net profit of €53.9m in the respective period last year.
The bank is currently working on its Cyprus Stock Exchange listing as part of its obligation to reduce the government’s stake from over 99 per cent to below 25 per cent with successive capital issues.
On September 1, it was reported that the Co-op was expected to reduce its non-performing loans stock by over €1bn by the end of the year.
Hadjiyiannis said the bank is resorting to pilot campaigns in cooperation with outside associates in an attempt to recover €1bn of unsecured terminated debt.
He added that bank has introduced “Qualco,” a new software adjusted to Cyprus’s legislation which will help manage the bank’s non-performing loans stock.