Bank of Cyprus 2014 loss narrows sharply

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NICOSIA (AFP) – Bank of Cyprus said Wednesday it posted a 256 million euro loss for 2014, mainly on increased provisions for exposure to Russia.

“The results of the fourth quarter… were negatively affected by increased provisions relating… to impairments in Russia,” CEO John Patrick Hourican said in a statement.

“The loss after tax for the year totalled 256 million euros ($291 million),” compared with two billion euros a year earlier.

However, excluding restructuring costs, discontinued operations and net profit on disposal of non-core assets, the bank made a full-year profit after tax of 42 million.

That compares to a loss, on the same basis, of 359 million euros in 2013.

The bank disposed of its Ukranian operations, its investment in Romania s Banca Transilvania, as well as other assets in Romania, loans in Serbia and its British loan portfolio.

It is also in the process of disposing of its operations in Russia.

The bank said it had 309 million euros in one-off losses for the year from discontinued operations in Russia and Ukraine.

In August, BoC successfully raised one billion euros from private investors and resumed trading on the Cyprus stock exchange in December.

Loans in arrears for more than 90 days decreased by three percent in the fourth quarter and totalled 12.7 billion euros, or 53 percent of gross loans, at year end.

BoC said it experienced its first increase in deposits in Cyprus since a bailout in March 2013.

At the time, Cyprus clinched a 10-billion-euro loan from the European Union and International Monetary Fund to bail out its troubled economy and oversized banking system.

Under the deal, the government was required to close the second-largest bank, Laiki, and impose a 47.5 percent haircut on deposits above 100,000 euros at BoC.

The bank has since undergone major restructuring, which included absorbing the good assets of the former Laiki Bank.

2015-02-26

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