February 21, 2018 / 10:31 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Ukrainian banks post 85 pct smaller loss in 2017 -central bank

(Adds detail, quote)

KIEV, Feb 21 (Reuters) - The Ukrainian banking sector posted a loss of 24.4 billion hryvnias ($904 million) in 2017, an 85 percent smaller loss than a year earlier, the central bank said on Wednesday.

The sector has been posting annual losses since 2014 due to a large proportion of non-performing loans and the consequent need to boost reserves.

“Due to significant volumes of provisions for reserves, the banking sector completed the year with a loss of 24.4 billion hryvnias — mainly this was accounted for by the four largest banks, including Privatbank,” the central bank said in a report on banking sector performance in 2017.

Last year, non-performing loans accounted for 54.5 percent of the sector’s debt portfolio.

The number of loss-making Ukrainian banks will fall in 2018 to fewer than 10 compared with 18 in 2017, senior central bank official Vitaliy Vavryshchuk said.

Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Catherine Evans

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