Monday, 21 October 2013

Greece was as we know plagued by a conference of destabilizing forces



National Bank of Greece group 90-day past due ratio reached 19.8% in Q2 ’13, more than 10% points off that of the company peers. In light of this policy development that clearly dissociates NBG from the rest of the market; the company is steadily reducing loan provision and charges in Greece in tandem with the improvement in delinquency formation.

Second, on the liquidity front, NBG has managed to reduce further loan deposit ratios in all three geographies; Greece, Turkey and SE, pushing the group loan deposit down to 102%, just a whisper away from 100%. This has been a function of sustained growth deposit gathering in all three regions and measured deleveraging in Greece and SEE.

As a result, as of June, NBG has managed to reduce Eurosystem system exposure by €5.4 billion year to date and by €9.2 billion on a year-on-year basis, while suggesting a further reduction by about €3 billion, combined with a marginal exposure to the ELA of less than €1 billion.

The company continues to rationalize their cost base with a focus in Greece and SEE jurisdictions. In Greece, NBG has reduced OpEx by 8% year-on-year in H1 ’13, reaching a cumulative cost containment of 23% compared to the equivalent period of 2010.

NBG international franchise is supportive to group profitability. Finansbank’s H1 attributable profit after tax reached €332 million, posting a 32% increase in local Turkish Lira terms, despite 2012 being a record year in terms of profitability. Also, SEE has turned profitable, returning a profit of €6 million relative to a loss of €15 million in H1 ’12.

Finally, the company pro forma Tier-1 stands at 9.2% after netting off fee expenses related to recap operation. The evolution of core capital during Q2 ’13 was affected by a series of offsetting factors ranging from the project of IRB implementation to optimize RWAs in Finansbank to the completed LME on the hybrid and the U.S preference shares, the small additional DTA and finally, the profit of the quarter.

In July 2013, NBG proceeded to incorporate the healthy assets of ProBank, a well-run corporate bank with an attractive SME portfolio, excess liquidity and high quality human capital. ProBank will further strengthen NBG’s liquidity, allowing the company to operate better in the current environment, financing the recovery of the Greek economy.

In addition, NBG will capitalize on ProBank’s expertise on SMEs, further enhancing the company’s penetration in the segment. NBG estimates to capture about €110 million of recurring annual synergies upon full phase out in 2015.

Recovering organic profitability in Greece supported by lower funding costs and cost cutting, asset qualities continued improvement in Greece and SEE, with NPL formation at the lowest level for the past two years, the positive economic time that allows for trading gains, the reversal provision on sovereign exposure and an increased allowance for deferred tax assets, reversing negative one off of previous years.

In Greece, NII experienced a second consecutive quarterly increase, with net interest margin rising to 260 bps from a top 245 bps in Q4. In Turkey, NII was also up in Euro terms, despite the deprecation of the try with NIM in Turkey reaching a recent high of 720 bps. In SEE, NIM has broadly stabilized at a solid 314 basis points. As a result, group NIM increased to 354 bps, up 18 bps in the quarter.

The improved situation in Greece has been supported by the continued good performance in Turkey and the return of southeastern Europe to profitability. Pre-provision earnings exceed provisions for the first time in two and a half years.


And finally, the stronger operational outlook is further supported by the best in class liquidity situation at the capital ratio above the minimum and about to be enhanced even more by a number of capital actions.

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