Romania BRD H1 net falls 17.4 pct, beats consensus

BUCHAREST, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Romania's No. 2 bank BRD BRDX.BX, controlled by France's Societe Generale SOGN.PA, posted a 17.4 percent fall in first-half net profit on Monday, beating market expectations. BRD posted a net profit of 425 million lei ($143 million) in the first half of this year, compared with a forecast of 390 million lei in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Eastern European banks have been hit by a slowdown in lending and rising provisions for non-performing loans, as currency weakness and growing unemployment have hit clients.

While financing conditions have deteriorated because of the global credit squeeze, banks have had to raise rates on deposits to attract more funds, compromising a good chunk of their earnings. (Reporting by Marius Zaharia, editing by Will Waterman) ($1=2.982 Lei)