FINANCE: Bank of Cyprus posts EUR 104 mln post-tax loss

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Bank of Cyprus on Monday announced a loss after tax of EUR 104 mln for 2018, noting it to be a significant improvement compared to the EUR 551.9 mln losses made in the previous year.

In 2018 the bank generated an income of EUR 781 mln and a positive operating profit of EUR 381mln. Provisions for 2018 were reduced by 78 per cent from 2017. They were EUR 168 mln compared to EUR 780 mln the previous year.

The bank’s preliminary results for 2018 also adds another plus as its capital position has been strengthened thanks to the agreement for the sale of EUR 2.7bln of non-performing loans through Project Helix.

“Since the peak in 2014, and including the sale of the Helix portfolio, we have now reduced the stock of NPEs by 68% to €4.8 bln pro forma for Helix, covered by 47% provisioning, above the EU average. We remain committed to making further material progress in 2019 and to continue supporting a growing Cyprus economy,” said BoC CEO John Patrick Hourican.

Hourican, who steps down in September to take up a new job in the UK after six years at BoC, deflected rumours that BoC is in need of recapitalization. He said: “The Bank is well capitalised. As at 31 December 2018 the CET1 ratio (transitional) was 15.4% and the Total Capital ratio was 18.3%, both pro forma for DTC and Helix (12.1% and 14.9% as reported, respectively)”.

On 1 March 2019 the Cyprus Parliament adopted legislative amendments allowing for the conversion of deferred tax assets (DTA) into deferred tax credits (DTC).

“These amendments, when they enter into force, will result in a more efficient capital treatment of the DTC, under CRD IV, resulting in a CET1 uplift of c.170 bps, based on 31 December 2018 results,” commented the CEO.

“This has been an important year in the transformation of the Bank and one in which we have made significant progress on a number of fronts against our objective of balance sheet de-risking and refocusing the business in supporting the growing Cypriot economy,” he added.