FINANCE: Bank of Cyprus posts EUR 95 mln profit in 1Q 2019

The island’s biggest lender Bank of Cyprus has made a positive start to the year posting a Euros 95 mln net profit for the first quarter of 2019, although NPLs still weigh heavy.

The Bank reported a good capital position, as at 31 March 2019 the CET1 ratio was 14.9% and the Total Capital ratio was 17.9%, both pro forma for Helix, well in excess of our regulatory requirements.

It added that its nonperforming exposures (NPEs) ratio stood at 35% and coverage at 48% pro forma for Helix.

In August 2018, BoC reached an agreement for the sale of a portfolio of loans with a gross book value of Euros 2.8 bln, secured by real estate collateral, known as ‘Project Helix’.

The Bank said moreover that its management is actively exploring strategies to further accelerate de-risking including further portfolio sales.

Our results this quarter reflect continuing progress against our core objective of balance sheet repair, said outgoing CEO John Patrick Hourican.

We have continued to make good progress towards completion of the sale of Euros 2.7 bln non-performing loans in Project Helix, including obtaining the required regulatory approvals from the ECB for the Significant Risk Transfer benefit from the Transaction. We expect completion during the second quarter of 2019, he added.

Hourican said project Helix complements our on-going organic non-performing exposure (NPE) reduction, which amounted to Euros 157 mln for the quarter, broadly in line with our organic target of Euros 800 mln for 2019. This was the sixteenth consecutive quarter of organic reductions in NPEs.

He added that since the peak in 2014, and pro forma for the sale of the Helix portfolio, the Bank has now reduced the stock of NPEs by 70% to Euros 4.6 bln. This stock of delinquent loans is covered by 48% provisions.

He said that even though they have reduced NPEs by 70% since peak, there are still Euros 4.6 bln of delinquent loans to be addressed, and for which they have plans in place.

Bank of Cyprus announced a net loss of Euros 104 mln for 2018.

Source: The Financial Mirror