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Piraeus Bank books Q1 net loss on staff redundancy costs

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Piraeus Bank books Q1 net loss on staff redundancy costs

Piraeus Bank SA reported a first-quarter net loss attributable to shareholders from continuing operations of €80 million, compared to a break-even result in the year-ago period.

The Greek lender said that excluding one-offs in the most recent quarter, the net attributable result would have been €18 million. The bank said it booked €138 million in one-off costs related to a voluntary redundancy scheme and other extraordinary staff expenses.

Net interest income was €360 million in the first quarter, down from €429 million in the year-ago period, while net fees and commission income ticked up to €79 million from €77 million and net trading and investment securities income dipped to €11 million from €31 million.

Operating costs excluding the one-off items were down 5.9% year over year to €259 million, while impairment losses on loans declined to €164 million from €258 million year over year. The bank said its stock of so-called nonperforming exposures fell for a 10th straight quarter to stand at €32.2 billion, compared to €32.9 billion three months earlier.

NPEs, which include some forborne assets and others held by borrowers considered to be at risk, represented 55.7% of total loans as of the end of the first quarter, up from 54.5% three months earlier. Nonperforming loans — those already at least 90 days past due — made up 35.5% of total loans, up from 35.3%, including 48.6% of consumer loans.

The bank has a target to reduce NPEs to €20.3 billion by the end of 2019, with NPLs slated to fall to €10.4 billion from €19.7 billion as of March-end.

Piraeus Bank said its common equity Tier 1 ratio was 14.0% at the end of March, or 14.4% pro forma for asset disposals that are in progress. CEO Christos Megalou said the bank is selling off portfolios of NPEs and divesting from noncore activities, while "pursuing options" that are expected to reduce risk-weighted assets by roughly €3.5 billion.

Risk-weighted assets, the denominator of the CET1 ratio, stood at €50.2 billion as of March-end, or €48.7 billion when taking account of planned disposals.