The Bank of Cyprus announced on Monday that it posted a €95 mn profit for the first quarter of 2019.
The Bank reported a “good capital position”, as at 31 March 2019 the CET1 ratio was 14.9% and the Total Capital ratio was 17.9%, both pro forma for Helix, “well in excess of our regulatory requirements”.
It added that its non performing exposures (NPEs) ratio stood at 35% and coverage at 48% pro forma for Helix.
In August 2018 the Group reached an agreement for the sale of a portfolio of loans with a gross book value of €2.8 bn, secured by real estate collateral, known as ‘Project Helix’.
The Bank said moreover that its “management is actively exploring strategies to further accelerate de-risking including further portfolio sales”.
“Our results this quarter reflect continuing progress against our core objective of balance sheet repair”, said the Bank’s CEO John Patrick Hourican.
“We have continued to make good progress towards completion of the sale of €2.7 bn non-performing loans in Project Helix, including obtaining the required regulatory approvals from the ECB for the Significant Risk Transfer benefit from the Transaction. We expect completion during the second quarter of 2019”, he added.
Hourican noted that “project Helix complements our on-going organic non-performing exposure (NPE) reduction, which amounted to €157 mn for the quarter, broadly in line with our organic target of €800 mn for 2019. This was the sixteenth consecutive quarter of organic reductions in NPEs”.
He added that since the peak in 2014, and pro forma for the sale of the Helix portfolio, the Bank has now reduced the stock of NPEs by 70% to €4.6 bn. This stock of delinquent loans is covered by 48% provisions.
He said that even though they have reduced NPEs by 70% since peak, there are still €4.6 bn of delinquent loans to be addressed, and for which they have plans in place.