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One-off trading gains boost Piraeus Bank’s Q1 earnings

Greek lender Piraeus Bank BOPr.AT on Thursday reported a sixfold jump in first quarter net earnings from last year’s fourth quarter, boosted by strong trading income.

Greece’s fourth-largest lender by market value reported net profit from continued operations of 521 million euros ($547 million) after a profit of 78 million euros in the fourth quarter of 2021.

The bank had lost 404 million in the first quarter of 2021.

Trading income was boosted by one-off gains booked in its sovereign bond portfolio and other transactions, Piraeus Bank said.

Net interest income fell 10% quarter-on-quarter to 286 million euros, affected by the bank’s accelerated balance sheet bad loan clean-up.

Excluding forgone income from so-called non-performing exposures (NPEs), net interest income reached 246 million euros in the first quarter and was up 11% year-on-year, the bank said, supported by an expansion of its performing loan book.
Chief Executive Christos Megalou said he was confident about meeting business plan targets.
“Balance sheet evolution is underpinned by a strong liquidity position with deposits strengthening and performing loan book expanding with 1.7 billion euros of new loans in the first quarter,” he said.

Piraeus Bank’s four-year business plan to 2025 aims to shrink non-performing exposures to 3.0% by that date and potentially start paying out dividends from 2024.

The bank also aims for about 7.0 billion euros of new loan disbursements to reach a loan book of 35 billion euros of performing credit by the end of the period.

The bank’s non-performing exposures (NPE) were reduced to 4.7 billion euros at the end of March, down by 200 million quarter-on-quarter, with its NPE ratio at 12.6%, substantially improved from 46.2% in March last year.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos Editing by Mark Potter)

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