Greece's Alpha Bank H1 profit beats forecasts

ATHENS Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:25am EDT

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ATHENS Aug 30 (Reuters) - Alpha Bank, Greece's third-largest lender by assets, remained profitable in the first half, thanks to an accounting gain on its acquisition of Emporiki and lower funding costs.

Including a goodwill write-back on Emporiki booked in the first quarter, Alpha posted net profit of 2.732 billion euros ($3.61 billion), above market expectations. Analysts polled by Reuters were expecting profit of 2.64 billion euros on average.

Excluding the 2.6 billion euro write-back, the bank earned 126.7 million euros in the first half from a loss of 462 million in the same period last year.

Provisions for loan impairments rose 37 percent year-on-year to 984 million euros, the bank said. (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos)

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