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Greece’s National Bank grows profit on higher fee and trading income

National Bank (NBG), Greece’s second-largest lender by market value, on Friday reported higher net profit in January-to-March compared with last year’s fourth quarter on the back of higher trading and commission income.

NBG, 40% owned by the country’s HFSF bank rescue fund, said net earnings from continued operations reached 208 million euros ($223.29 million) from 100 million euros in the fourth quarter of 2021, beating analyst forecasts.

The bank had earned 583 million euros in last year’s first quarter.

Provisions for impaired loans dropped 27% year-on-year to 56 million euros in the first quarter and were slightly down quarter-on-quarter as well.

On the asset quality front, NBG’s stock of so-called non-performing exposures (NPEs) continued to fall. Its NPE ratio dropped to 6.7% of its loan book from 7.0% at the end of December.

Despite uncertainty and inflationary pressures, the payment performance of clients receiving state sponsored support

was reassuring, NBG said, with default rates in low single digits.

The bank said there were no signs of delinquencies due to the recent surge in Greek inflation, which hit 10.2% in April, a 28-year high.

“Looking forward, investment growth, a very strong start for the tourism season combined with fiscal support measures in energy cost relief will support Greece’s recovery,” said Chief Executive Paul Mylonas.

The group’s commission income grew 25% year-on-year, supported by increasing retail and corporate loan origination, with card and intermediation fees also driving the upswing.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos, Editing by Louise Heavens)

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