BUDAPEST Feb 17 The Hungarian unit of Belgian
KBC reported a 15.2 percent fall in 2013 after-tax
profit on Monday, dragged down by a rise in non-performing loans
and a reassessment of its loan book on the basis of new European
Banking Authority guidelines.
K&H Group said its after-tax profit for the year fell to
17.4 billion forints ($77.03 million) from 20.5 billion in 2012
as its fourth-quarter profit plunged to nearly a fifth of the
level a year earlier, just 1.2 billion forints.
"That result was dramatically impacted by the higher amount
of credit provisions that we booked in the fourth quarter to
cope with the increase in non-performing loans and to adjust to
the new definitions ... by the EBA," K&H Chief Executive
Hendrik Scheerlinck told a news conference.
K&H said provisions jumped to 12.9 billion forints in the
fourth quarter from just 2.1 billion in the same period a year
earlier. The stock of non-performing loans rose to 12.9 percent
by the end of the fourth quarter from 12 percent a year ago.
Even so, K&H has remained one of the few profitable banks in
Hungary, where lenders have been hit by Europe's highest bank
levy and other measures imposed by the government, as well as
seeing their loan books deteriorate.
Austrian Raiffeisen has recently lifted capital in
its Hungarian business, as did German Bayern LB in
its local unit called MKB Bank.
($1 = 225.89 Hungarian forints)
(Reporting by Gergely Szakacs; Editing by Catherine Evans)