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BANK OF GREEK/240.7 million in the first nine months of 2023

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ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΤΡ&Alpha ;ΠΕΖΑ/240.7 εκατομμύρια τους πρωτο&upsilon ;ς εννΕα μorνες του 2023

Hellenic Bank announced today a profit of €240.7 million for the first nine months of 2023.

As the Bank's announcement states, these profits are mainly due to higher interest income from Central Bank deposits and securities.

In relation to the Capital base, Hellenic notes that it is stable, with the Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio standing at 21.7% and the Total Capital Ratio at 27.4%, far exceeding the minimum requirements of the supervisory authorities.

The NPL Index stands at 2.7% excluding NPLs covered by the Asset Protection Program, demonstrating a reduction in balance sheet risk.

New loans amount to to €900 million for the nine months of 2023, which is up 11% year-on-year.

As noted in the results, Transformation and addressing structural challenges is ongoing, with a focus on digitization and efficiency improvement. At the same time, it is noted that the challenges in the financial and operational environment remain.

Commenting on the Group's results, Interim Chief Executive Officer Antonis Rouvas said that Hellenic Bank's performance in the third quarter of 2023 continued to be very good with profits after tax of €240.7 million.

“The main drivers remain higher interest income on deposits and securities at the Central Bank, due to increased ECB interest rates, as well as reduced expenses following the 2022 Voluntary Early Retirement Plan (VEPS). The Bank's results for the nine months of 2023 they demonstrate the resilience of its business model,” he said.

Commenting on the granting of approximately €900 million in new loans during the nine months of 2023, up by 11% year-on-year, Mr. Rouvas stated that the Group remains on track to achieve its annual lending target of €1.2 billion .

“Our actions to de-risk our balance sheet resulted in the NPL ratio falling to 2.7% (excluding NPLs covered by the PPS). With a Total Capital Ratio of around 27.4%, significantly higher than regulatory requirements, and excess liquidity (Liquidity Coverage Ratio at 506%), the bank's balance sheet remains strong in a difficult period of economic uncertainty and increasing geopolitical risk.” he said.

He also emphasizes that the significant strengthening of the Bank's key metrics has been recognized by major rating agencies. In October 2023, the Bank's long-term deposit rating was upgraded to Baa3 investment grade after 12 years by Moody's Investor Service, and in November 2023, Fitch Ratings upgraded the Bank's credit rating by two notches to BB+.

Nevertheless, added Mr. Rouvas, “we remain alert for potential risks that could affect the Bank's performance, due to the challenges in the economic and operational environment, with rising interest rates, high inflation and high geopolitical risk.”

The group, as it notes, considers it imperative that our country has a stable and functional legislative framework to deal with strategic defaulters and reduce moral hazard.

He points out that despite the shift of most non-performing loans outside the banking sector, the level of problem loans in Cyprus remains one of the highest in Europe, affecting the country's credit ratings.

He also reiterated the Group's commitment to support its vulnerable customers and to work closely with the authorities on proposed measures to address the long-standing issue of NPLs, however, as he notes, the constant discussion of changes to the legal framework is destabilizing.

With regard to labor issues, he underlined the constructive attitude of the Hellenic Group and its irrevocable commitment to find solutions to all outstanding issues, through dialogue and with the support of the Ministry of Labor and Social Insurance.

In other key results, net interest income for the nine months of 2023 was €379.7m, up 84% year-on-year, mainly due to higher interest rates and balance sheet liquidity due to deposits in Central Banks

The cost-to-income ratio is at 36% (adjusted for the contribution of the Deposit Guarantee Scheme and the Special Levy) due to higher net interest income and reduced staff costs following the Voluntary Early Retirement Scheme (VERS ) in December 2022

Also, 99.6% of post-2018 new lending is serviced, the NPL Provision Coverage Ratio (excluding NPLs covered by the PPS) is at 45% as of 30 September 2023

There is comfortable liquidity with a Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) at 506% and €6.0 billion placed with the ECB (excluding lending to SPMA/TLROs of €2.3 billion).

Finally, the MREL Ratio to Total Risk Exposure Amounts (TREA) stands at 29.8%, and is on track to fully comply with the final binding MREL requirement by 31 December 2025.< /p>

Source: 24h.com.cy

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