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National Bank of Greece Q4'19 loss widens YOY

National Bank of Greece SA fourth-quarter 2019 after-tax losses widened to €633 million from €120 million a year earlier, mainly due to a sharp rise in losses on discontinued operations, which jumped over the period to €571 million from €79 million.

Net interest income rose year over year to €288 million from €272 million. Net fees and commissions also increased to €71 million from €66 million. The Greek lender booked trading and other losses of €17 million, down from €47 million in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Loan impairments widened on a yearly basis to €105 million from €62 million. Charges on voluntary exit schemes, restructuring and other one-offs amounted to €26 million, compared to €38 million in the prior year.

For full year 2019, the Greek bank reported an after-tax loss of €255 million, up from €84 million in 2018.

The bank's nonperforming exposures, or NPE, ratio stood at 31.3% at the end of 2019, down from 40.4% at 2018-end. Its NPE coverage ratio declined over the same period to 53.4% from 59.2%.

As of 2019-end, NBG's common equity Tier 1 ratio was 16.2%, compared to 16.8% three months earlier and 16.1% at the end of 2018.

CEO Pavlos Mylonas said NBG will accelerate changes to its operating model, particularly digitalization, adding that the bank will be ready to launch a large NPE securitization of more than €6 billion as soon as market conditions permit.