UPDATE 1-Costly state loans drive Millennium bcp to $1 bln 2013 net loss

Mon Feb 3, 2014 1:28pm EST

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LISBON Feb 3 (Reuters) - Portugal's largest listed bank by assets, Millennium bcp, posted a 2013 net loss of 740.5 million euros ($1 billion), hurt by impairments on bad loans and the high cost of interest on state loans.

The cost of tapping state loans, a part of Portugal's bailout aimed at recapitalising its banks, rose to 269 million euros in 2013 from 135 million in 2012. Impairments hit 1.287 billion euros last year, down from 1.319 billion in 2012.

The loss was slightly more than the 730 million euros forecast by analysts and compares with a loss of 1.22 billion in 2012.

Net interest income, the difference between interest charged on loans and interest paid on deposits, fell 15 percent to 848 million euros compared with 870 million forecast by analysts.

Portugal's 2011 bailout and the debt crisis that sparked its worst economic crisis since the 1970s hit its banks hard. But the economy has now started to recover and 2014 may be Portugal's first year with positive economic growth since 2010.

Millenium bcp's shares are flat for the year, having been hit by the general downturn in stock markets, and closed 2.6 percent lower on Monday before the release of the results.

The bank said that overseas operations posted a net profit of 178 million euros, a gain of 6.5 percent. Portugal has operations in Poland, Angola and Mozambique but it sold its loss-making business in Greece last year.

Chief executive Nuno Amado said the Polish business remains a core holding for the bank while it plans to sell the operation in Romania by the end of 2015. ($1 = 0.7397 euros) (Reporting by Sergio Goncalves; Writing by Axel Bugge; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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