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Higher extraordinary costs drive Alpha Bank to Q4'17 loss

Greece-based Alpha Bank AE reported a fourth-quarter 2017 loss after tax attributable to shareholders of €64.0 million, compared to a profit of €35.5 million in the previous quarter.

Net interest income for the quarter came in at €479.6 million, down from €486.9 million in the third quarter of 2017. Net fee and commission income increased quarter over quarter to €82.7 million from €79.3 million, while income from financial operations dropped over the same period to €28.8 million from €75.2 million.

Fourth-quarter 2017 extraordinary costs amounted to €151.2 million, up from €7.4 million in the previous quarter. Alpha Bank said the increase is mainly attributed to the provision of a new voluntary separation scheme of €93 million and fixed assets' impairment of €76 million.

The bank booked impairment losses of €243.7 million for the quarter, compared to €298.3 million in the previous quarter.

For full-year 2017, attributable profit dropped year over year to €21.1 million from €42.1 million. Alpha Bank noted that the result included an after tax loss from discontinued operations of €68.5 million booked in the second quarter of 2017, mainly related to recycling of foreign exchange differences following the completion of the sale of the bank's Serbian operations.

The net interest margin for the year stood at 3.1%, compared to 2.9% in 2016. The bank booked loan loss provisions of €1.01 billion in 2017, down from €1.17 billion a year earlier.

At 2017-end, the bank's common equity Tier 1 ratio was 18.3%, up from 17.8% at the end of September 2017 and 17.1% at the end of 2016. Taking into account the estimated impact from the adoption of IFRS 9, the pro forma fully loaded CET1 ratio stood at 15.9% at the end of 2017, while the pro forma phased-in CET1 ratio was 18.3%.