Greece’s Largest Lender Piraeus Bank to Fully Eliminate ELA in 2018
Greece’s Piraeus Bank ends 2017 with NPL stock below EU20b vs EU20.1b target, according to a Bloomberg report. For 2018, the Bank projects a credit growth rate of 1% for the Greek banking sector, with the granting of new loans mainly to corporates and SMEs.
This will be the first loan growth since the onset of the crisis. Loan growth is expected to come mainly from corporate and SME lending.
In 2017 Piraeus, which holds a dominant position in the SMEs market (80% of the SMEs market having a banking relationship with Piraeus Bank), generated close to €2.8bn new loans, ahead of its budget, targeting to be close to €5bn by 2020.
Loans to deposit ratio converging towards 100%, signaling the readiness of the Bank to satisfy stronger loan demand coming.
The Bank has reduced its ELA reliance significantly to €5.5bn level at the end of 2017 from €12bn at the beginning of the year, currently below €4.5bn.
“We have delivered a significant reduction in euro-system funding. This is strongly in line with our expectations and we are well placed to fully eliminate ELA in 2018,” Piraeus Bank CEO Christos Megalou says in statement to Bloomberg.
Mr Megalou added that “the completion of Greece’s economic program in August 2018, the gradual lift of capital controls and the further access to capital markets will be the key macro drivers for 2018.”
During 2017 Piraeus Bank has accelerated the execution of its Agenda 2020 Plan especially with regards to improving asset quality and liquidity. Piraeus remains Greece’s largest bank by deposits with €41bn portfolio and close to 30% share.
Τhe Bank managed to increase market share by capturing ~40% of Q3.17 market inflow, while Q4.17 was also strong.
In October 2017, Piraeus issued a €0.5bn covered bond, privately placed with international financial organizations (EIB, EIF, EBRD). This contributes to €700mn financing to Greek SMEs.
Piraeus Bank’s strategy was presented to investors last month in meetings held in London.
Full presentation at the link below:
Piraeus Bank Group
George Papaioannou, Head of Press Office
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