Greek bank Emporiki posts first quarter loss

5th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Greece's Emporiki Bank, owned by French group Credit Agricole, on Wednesday announced a net first-quarter loss of 209.3 million euros (274 million dollars) on a provisions increase.

The bank, Greece's fourth largest, said its net banking income had increased by 26.2 percent to 188.7 million euros compared to the equivalent period last year but provisions were up 44.3 percent to 294.4 million euros.

The bank was one of several Greek lenders whose ratings were lowered in December and April by ratings agency Moody's as the country battles an unprecedented debt crisis to forestall bankruptcy.

"As part of its restructuring and development Plan, Emporiki adopted efficient cost control measures and an effective commercial policy, which have led to a notable increase in our gross operating income and group net banking income for the first quarter of 2010," chief executive Alain Strub said.

"Emporiki has liquidity, a well-defined risk management strategy and a tight provisioning policy, based on international standards," Strub said in a statement.

The bank's gross operating income stood at 44.5 million euros in the first quarter compared to a loss of one million euros last year.

Acquired by France's Credit Agricole in 2006, Emporiki has subsidiaries in Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus and Germany.

Credit Agricole recently increased its stake in the bank to 91 percent through participation in a 989-million-euro share capital increase, Emporiki said.

© 2010 AFP

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