February 5, 2015 / 7:55 AM / 3 years ago

Polish mBank says Swiss franc strength could hurt profits

WARSAW, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Poland's mBank said on Thursday a recent jump in the value of the Swiss franc might harm its 2015 profits as its bad loans provisions might rise.

A unit of Germany's Commerzbank, Poland's fourth-largest lender by assets posted a fourth-quarter net profit of 309 million zlotys ($84.13 million), below a forecast of 315 million by analysts polled by Reuters poll due to lower revenues and provisions.

With a significant portfolio of Swiss franc-denominated mortgages, the bank said it may face higher bad loan provisions and losses stemming from the lower price it charges clients to buy the franc.

The Swiss franc rose by 20 percent against the zloty in the middle of January following the Swiss central bank's decision to lift a cap on the franc against the euro. In recent days the franc has fallen and stabilised at an exchange rate of around 4 zlotys.

"A sustained higher Swiss franc exchange rate will have a moderately negative impact on the group's financial results in 2015," mBank said in a quarterly report.

"Assuming the rate of 4.2 zlotys as of December 2014, the group's capital ratios would be approximately 40 basis points lower than currently reported for the period," it said.

$1 = 3.6727 zlotys Reporting by Marcin Goclowski; editing by Jason Neely

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