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Piraeus Bank Q4'19 net result up YOY

Piraeus Bank SA's fourth-quarter 2019 group net result attributable to shareholders came in at €192 million, up from the year-ago €145 million.

Net interest income rose on a yearly basis to €363 million from €355 million, as did net fee income, to €91 million from €76 million. Trading and other income amounted to €359 million, compared with €45 million a year earlier.

The Greek lender booked impairment on loans, including net modification loss, of €221 million, up from the year-ago €137 million. Total operating costs reached €264 million, down from €269 million a year earlier.

For full year 2019, the group's profit attributable to equity holders from continuing operations rose on a yearly basis to €270 million from €185 million. EPS amounted to 32 cents, compared with 22 cents in 2018.

As of Dec. 31, 2019, the bank's nonperforming loans stood at €16.8 billion, down from €17.4 billion at 2018-end. Its nonperforming exposures also declined over the period, to €24.5 billion from €27.3 billion.

Group nonperforming exposure, or NPE, ratio and NPE coverage ratio stood at 49% and 45%, respectively, at the end of 2019, compared with 52% and 46% at the end of September 2019.

Piraeus Bank noted that it is "on track" with preparations for NPE securitizations of about €7 billion to be placed with the Hellenic Asset Protection Scheme.

The group's common equity Tier 1 ratio stood at 14.05% at 2019-end, up from 13.65% at the end of 2018.

Regarding the coronavirus outbreak, CEO Christos Megalou said the bank is constantly evaluating the situation. "[A]lthough it is difficult at this point to have a proper and clear picture of the impact, we are conducting diligent analysis of our portfolio and client relationships," he noted.

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