* Alpha posts profit of 41.2 mln euros
* Loan-loss provisions fall 26.5 pct q/q
* Non-performing loans at 38.3 pct of book
(Adds CEO comment, details)
By George Georgiopoulos
ATHENS, Nov 30 Alpha Bank, Greece's
fourth-largest lender by assets, turned profitable in the third
quarter after booking lower provisions for impaired loans.
Alpha, 11 percent owned by the national bank rescue fund
HFSF after its recapitalisation late last year, on Wednesday
reported net profit of 41.2 million euros ($44 million) after a
loss of 16.8 million euros in the second quarter.
Greek banks are struggling with large problem loan
portfolios after a deep, protracted recession pushed
unemployment to record highs, making it hard for borrowers to
service their debts.
Banks entered the crisis in 2008 with non-performing
exposures (NPEs) of 14.5 billion euros or 5.5 percent of their
loan books and that rose to 106.9 billion or 50.5 percent at end
June this year, excluding off balance sheet items.
Greece's banks are also grappling with funding gaps after a
deposit flight last year that prompted capital controls in June
2015. They still depend on central bank funding.
"As far as NPEs are concerned, we made a significant step to
articulate our ambition to reduce the stock in the medium term
through operational targets agreed with (the ECB's) Single
Supervisory Mechanism," CEO Dimitris Mantzounis said in a
The Bank of Greece said on Wednesday that based on targets
banks submitted in September, they aim to cut the NPE gross
volume to 66.7 billion by 2019 from 106.9 billion euros, meaning
their NPE ratio would fall to 34 percent from 51 percent.
Alpha said provisions for bad debt fell 26.5 percent
quarter-on-quarter to 257 million euros from 349.7 million in
the second quarter.
Non performing credit (NPLs) - loans past due for more than
90 days - rose to 38.3 percent of its book at end-September from
37.8 percent at the end of June, with NPEs at 53.2 percent
compared to 52.6 percent in the second quarter.
Alpha reduced its borrowing from the European Central Bank
and the Bank of Greece by 1.9 billion during July to September
to 20.9 billion euros.
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)