LISBON, March 29 Portugal's Caixa Economica
Montepio Geral, Portugal's third largest listed bank,
is set to post its first profit in 2017 after three years of
losses, chief executive Jose Felix Morgado said on Wednesday.
Morgado also told Reuters in an interview that the bank does
not "at this moment" need to raise capital.
Caixa reported on Wednesday a 2016 full-year net loss of
86.5 million euros.
Morgado said the bank now expected to turn around three
years of losses.
"Our ambition, our expectation, is to reach positive results
in 2017 and the development of the results until the middle of
March confirm that expectation, due to growth in our core
banking products," Morgado told Reuters.
Caixa's results have been weighed down in the past few years
by non-performing loans and exposure to the real estate and
construction sectors, which have still not fully recovered from
the country's debt crisis.
The bank has cut costs sharply in the past year, including
by pruning its branch network in 2016 by 100 to 327. The bank
has sold 1,938 properties and is negotiating the sale of a
portfolio of non-performing loans for around 1 billion euros.
"The implementation of various measures will allow us to
meet our capital ratio requirements," he said. "At this moment,
there is no need for a cash call."
(Reporting By Sergio Goncalves, writing by Axel Bugge, editing
by David Evans)