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National Bank of Greece books FY'16 profit as bad loans drop again

National Bank of Greece SA eked out a full-year profit in 2016 and expressed confidence about the outlook for the coming year as its balance of bad loans continued to decline.

The lender reported full-year profit after tax from continuing operations of €53 million, compared to a loss of €2.49 billion in 2015. The bank was also profitable in its home market, where it earned €17 million.

Fourth-quarter after-tax profit from continuing operations was €73 million, up from €6 million in the third quarter. Fourth-quarter core revenue amounted to €522 million, up from €516 million in the prior period, while core revenue increased to €2.05 billion from €1.90 billion on a full-year basis.

The bank's stock of Greek nonperforming exposures — a European measurement of bad and restructured debt — fell by €900 million during the fourth quarter and by €2.8 billion for the full year. Domestic NPEs amounted to 45.1% of total loans at 2016-end, down from 46.4% at the end of the third quarter and 49.2% a year earlier.

On a group level, the NPE ratio was 43.6%, down from 47.5% a year earlier.

Loans 90 or more days past due amounted to 32.9% of group loans and 33.8% of those in Greece, compared to 34.3% and 35.4%, respectively, at the end of the third quarter. The year-ago figures were 33.3% at group level and 34.1% in Greece.

The bank's common equity Tier 1 ratio on a fully loaded basis was 15.8% at 2016-end.