Non performing facilities at end-December 2018 dropped by €743 million or 6.7% to €10.27 billion compared with September 2018, figures released on Monday by the Central Bank (CBC) showed.
As a result, the ratio of NPFs to total facilities fell to 30.3% at the end of 2018 from 31.8% in September 2018. The coverage ratio decreased to 50.9% in the last month of 2018 from 51.9% at the end of September 2018.
The Central Bank said that total facilities declined by €760 million or 2.2% from €34.652 million at end-September 2018 to €33.892 million at the end of December 2018.
It added that between 31.12.2014-31.12.2018, NPFs dropped by €17 billion or 62.4%.
“The downward trend in NPFs can be attributed to the transfer of the non-performing loan portfolio of the Cyprus Cooperative Bank to the Cyprus Asset Management Company (CAMC), the sale of loans, the reclassification of loans as debt instruments held for sale as well as loans which have been successfully restructured and reclassified as performing at the end of the probation period, loan write-offs, loan repayments and debt-to-asset swaps”, said the CBC.
“The analysis of additional data collected by the CBC with respect to fixed-term loans shows that there has been an improvement in the factors contributing to the reduction of NPFs e.g. collections on restructured facilities and amounts transferred to performing facilities due to successful completion of restructurings by the end of the observance period”, it noted.
The CBC pointed out that the reduction in NPFs is also due to the rise in loan write-offs, which take place in the context of restructurings and usually concern amounts that already form part of credit institutions’ loan loss provisions. However, non-contractual or "accounting" set-offs are also made against amounts already provided aimed at a more representative depiction of loan portfolios, it added.
As regards repayments of NPFs through settlements that involve or include acquisition of real estate/shares against debt by credit institutions, the CBC noted that these are mainly implemented in the case of large corporate entities and of households.
Furthermore, it said that restructured facilities presented a net reduction of €660 million at the end of 2018 compared with the ninth month of the year. Total restructured facilities at end-December 2018 amounted to €6.659 million, of which €4.623 million remain classified as NPFs, partly due to the definition of NPFs, based on which when an NPF is restructured it remains under observation within the NPF category for a further period of at least 12 months.