* NBG 9mo net loss widens 82 percent to 2.45 billion euros
* Provisions shoot up 43 percent to 1.87 billion
* Alpha loss widens to 711.8 mln after 1.2 bln provs
* Alpha sees capital need at 4.6 bln, NBG's at 9.7 bln
(Adds Alpha economist comment, details, background)
By George Georgiopoulos and Lefteris Papadimas
ATHENS, Dec 21 Greek banks National
and Alpha posted wider nine-month losses as the
debt-laden country's deep recession pounded their loan books and
higher funding costs squeezed net interest income.
With the economy shrinking at an annualised rate of nearly
7 percent in the third quarter, and with one in four Greeks
jobless, borrowers are having a hard time servicing their debts,
forcing banks to take hefty provisions for potential loan
National Bank, the country's largest lender, said its net
loss widened 82 percent to 2.45 billion euros ($3.2 billion) in
the nine months through September.
Its provisions shot up 43 percent to 1.87 billion euros.
Alpha, Greece's No.3 bank by assets, said its loss had
widened by 25.6 percent from a year ago to 711.8 million euros.
It said net interest income fell 16.4 percent, hurt by the
higher cost of funding under the Greek central bank's so-called
emergency liquidity assistance (ELA).
The bank, which in October agreed to buy Emporiki Bank from
French lender Credit Agricole, said provisions for
impaired credit rose 41.5 percent to 1.17 billion euros.
Tough conditions are seen persisting in 2013, with the
economy projected to contract for a sixth straight year, meaning
a further rise in non-performing loans.
"Unemployment will continue to climb in 2013, so probably
non-performing loans will peak sometime in 2014," Alpha's chief
economist Michael Massourakis told Reuters.
Last month Greece passed a 13.5 billion euro austerity
package of budget cuts and tax hikes for the next two years,
aiming to unlock bailout aid and hit a primary budget surplus in
Greece and its international lenders have earmarked 50
billion euros from the country's 130 billion euro bailout to
recapitalise viable banks, whose equity capital was wiped out
after participating in a sovereign debt swap in March.
Under the plan, banks will have to issue new shares to
achieve a core Tier 1 capital solvency ratio of at least 6
percent and convertible bonds or CoCos to boost the ratio to 9
The private sector must take up at least 10 percent of the
new shares to be issued to keep lenders privately run.
Alpha said its total recapitalisation need, as set by the
central bank, was 4.6 billion euros. NBG said its capital need
was 9.7 billion.
Greece's two other big lenders, Eurobank and
Piraeus, unveiled their recapitalisation needs on
Thursday, set by the central bank at 5.8 billion euros and 7.3
This means the total recapitalisation need for country's
four systemically important banks comes to nearly 28 billion
Banks will have to complete their capital raising under the
plan by end-April next year.
(Editing by David Holmes)