Business News

Bank Profits Surge as Impairments Down in First Two Months

Ljubljana, 30 April (STA) - The net profit generated by banks in Slovenia amounted to EUR 62.1m in the first two months of the year, up significantly from EUR 8m in the same period of 2013, as impairments dropped by half, data from the central bank show.

Net impairments by banks in the first two months of the year stood at EUR 32m, which is half that from a year ago, Banka Slovenije said.

The data on declining impairments and a surging profit in the early months of this year come after the bailout of key state-owned banks in December. That operation contributed the bulk to the EUR 3.5bn net loss made by banks in 2013.

Total impairments last year stood at EUR 3.7bn.

While the early profit data for this year paint a more optimistic picture in the banking sector, a bailout of Banka Celje planned for the first half of the year is expected to depress the figures somewhat.

Nevertheless, a number of other indicators also point to an improvement in conditions in the banking sector, among others an end to the decline in revenue.

Gross revenue generated by banks in Slovenia in the first two months stood at EUR 204.8m, up 8.5% on the same period last year. Net interest revenue was up 2.8% to EUR 132.9m, the report from the central bank says.

Meanwhile, the data show banks continued their cost-cutting drive, as their total costs were down by 6.6% on the first two months of last year at EUR 108.3m.

The contraction in loans to the non-banking sector persisted, with data at the end of February showing total outstanding loans at EUR 24.2bn, which is 20.8% less than in February last year.

Loans to businesses shrank by 30.3% year-on-year, while those to households were down 3.9%.

Deposits increased by 1.6% since December but declined by 3.2% year-on-year in February at EUR 23.4bn.

As a result of the decline in loans and deposits, the total assets of banks in Slovenia fell 11.6% year-on-year in February to stand at EUR 40.7bn.

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