CYPRUS’ Hellenic Bank posted a net loss of €99.5 million last year, hit by a 70 per cent writedown on its Greek sovereign debt holdings, the bank said on Tuesday.
Hellenic said its operating profit excluding the Greek impairment and other provisions rose 47 percent to €132.56 million, compared with a net profit of €9.19 million in 2010.
But the Hellenic prides itself in its “prudent management”, saying it enjoys “ample liquidity” and has “no dependency on the interbank market or the ECB.”
Last week the island’s largest lender, Bank of Cyprus, announced a €1 billion loss for 2011 after taking a 60 percent writedown on Greek sovereign debt.
Hellenic, in which the Church of Cyprus holds a sizeable stake, is the least exposed among the three major Cypriot banks to Greek government debt, holding an estimated €110 million in such bonds. The size of the writedown was €77 million, Hellenic said. Its provision for the writedown on all Greek debt, including private sector loans and non-performing loans, amounts to a “manageable” 142 mln euros, the bank said.
The island’s second biggest bank, Marfin Popular, is scheduled to announce its results this morning. This will be followed later in the day by a briefing from its chairman, former Finance Minister Dr Michalis Sarris, and the Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Christos Stylianides.