September 27, 2017 / 5:46 PM / 2 years ago

First BanCorp's CEO says 45 pct of network on island restored

NEW YORK, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Puerto Rico-based First BanCorp has restored about 45 percent of its network and 25 percent of its ATMs on the island, Chief Executive Aurelio Alemán said on Wednesday.

First BanCorp branches started reopening on Monday and as of Wednesday, 20 branches were open, Alemán said.

“We now are covering Puerto Rico geographically, which is important,” he said.

Demand for cash in hurricane-struck Puerto Rico is “extraordinarily high” as power outages and road closures strain banks and other lenders there, a U.S. central bank branch said on Wednesday, even while current needs on the island are being met.

First BanCorp shares were down 6.9 percent to $5.12 on Wednesday, having touched a nearly four-month low, earlier in the session.

Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; editing by Susan Thomas

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