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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-08-26

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Piraeus Bank reports improved Q2 results
  • [02] Stocks end 1.59% higher
  • [03] Call for Synaspismos congress

  • [01] Piraeus Bank reports improved Q2 results

    Piraeus Bank group on Wednesday said its first half pre-tax and provisions earnings fell 16 pct to 368 million euros, compared with the same period last year, while on a quarterly basis, earnings rose 48 pct to 76 million euros in the second quarter of the year, reflecting higher interest revenues and financial results.

    The bank said provisions totaled 207 million euros, 2.5 times more compared with the same period in 2008, while net earnings to shareholders totaled 128 million euros, down 55 pct on an annual base, reflecting mainly a significant increase in provisions.

    Net interest revenue fell 5.0 pct to 528 million euros in the six-month period, although they were up 7.0 pct in the second quarter (272 million euros), while net interest margin rose to 2.6 pct in the second quarter from 2.4 pct in the first quarter of 2009. Operating cost slowed to 1.0 pct despite a 5.0-pct increase in branch network, while the bank's assets totaled 54 billion euros, up 5.0 pct compared with the first six months of 2008.

    Piraeus Bank said its cash flow improved after the successful securitization of two loans, totaling 1.625 billion euros (another securitization worth 3.45 billion euros was completed in August 2009 adding 1.9 billion euros to the bank's cash flow. The bank said its non-performing loan rate was 4.5 pct, while equity capital rose by 203 million euros in the second quarter of the year. The capital adequacy rate was 11.2 pct.

    Saving deposits and retail bonds totaled 31.8 billion euros at the end of June, up 8.0 pct from last year, with domestic savings totaling 26.8 billion euros and savings abroad rise 2.0 pct to 5.0 billion euros.

    The loan portfolio annual rate was 5.0 pct totaling 38.3 billion euros, with domestic loans rising 4.0 pct to 29.5 billion euros and loans abroad rising 4.0 pct to 6.1 billion euros.

    Commenting on the results, Mihalis Sallas, the bank's chairman, said conditions in global economy remained difficult, however serious evidence of a gradual recovery and stabilization of markets emerged in the second quarter of the year.

    "The bank's cash flow rose to around historic highs, non-performing loans were 4.5 pct and operating cost was 1.0 pct. These developments are creating a climate of cautious optimism and set the stage, combined with a more effective management and loan portfolio quality, to take advantage of future opportunities from a stronger position," he said.

    [02] Stocks end 1.59% higher

    Greek stocks jumped 1.59 pct higher at the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday, with the composite index of the market ending at 2,545.67 points in heavy trading. Turnover was 300.8 million euros, of which 14.2 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved upwards, with the Utilities (4.24 pct), Banks (3.83 pct), Food/Beverage (1.74 pct) and Healthcare (1.68 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Insurance (4.14 pct), Travel (3.33 pct), Financial Services (2.86 pct) and Telecommunications (1.87 pct) suffered losses.

    The FTSE 20 index jumped 2.03 pct, the FTSE 40 index fell 0.09 pct and the FTSE 80 index eased 0.89 pct. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 121 to 95 with another 50 issues unchanged.

    [03] Call for Synaspismos congress

    The president of the Coalition of the Left (Synaspimos), the leading grouping in the Parliament-represented Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), is expected to call for the holding of an extraordinary party congress in October.

    Alexis Tsipras, who heads up Synaspismos but is not a Parliament deputy, will table the proposal at the party's central committee meeting on Saturday, he announced to members of another party meeting, by the political secretariat, on Wednesday.

    The small leftist party's poor showing in the recent June Euro-elections, below 5 percent, and recent charges by a SYRIZA claiming that unnamed leftist politicians took money from Siemens Hellas in the late 1980s has generated friction between Synaspismos and SYRIZA cadres.

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