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Bad debt pain for Greece's biggest bank

Monday, March 23, 2015 - 01:38

Greece's largest lender National Bank has reported a loss as increased provisions for bad debt offset profit at its Turkish unit Finansbank. As Katie Gregory reports the results were no surprise

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The cash is going out... but there's not as much coming in for the National Bank of Greece. The country's largest lender reported a net loss of 1.11 billion euros in fourth quarter last year, that's a substantial drop from a net profit of 30 million euros just three months earlier. A sign that Greece's woes are far from over - says Rabobank's Jane Foley. (SOUNDBITE) (English) RABOBANK, SENIOR FX STRATEGIST, JANE FOLEY, SAYING: "Although we can argue that there has been an improvement over recent years with Greece's primary surplus etc increasing, I think it remains the case that Greece is very close to the mark in terms of it's financial strains right now and I think this is only going to be guaranteed further by the results of the bank today." The National Bank recovered from the debt crisis - only to be hit by recent political instability and fears of a Grexit. In just one year NBG has seen almost 750 million euros wiped from it's profit margin. AND just last month - during tense talks with the country's European creditors - bank customers began pulling euros out at a rapid rate. The one shining light - Turkish unit Finansbank - which contributed 62 million euros to fourth quarter earnings. That figure along with promising talks between Greece and Germany - actually bolstered the company's share price. There was also the announcement of a new board president and group chief executive - to hopefully turn NBG's fortunes around. New President, Louka Katseli, is a former socialist government minister - who once voted AGAINST Greece's loan deal with foreign creditors.

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Bad debt pain for Greece's biggest bank

Monday, March 23, 2015 - 01:38