Bank of Cyprus reports lower three-quarter profits
Bank of Cyprus reported a fall of more than 10 percent in after tax profits for the first three quarters and blamed the events of September 11 for the downturn, the group said Tuesday, November 27.
"The interest rate cuts coupled with the September 11 terrorist attacks and the events which followed have changed the financial environment. These exogenous factors have adversely affected results," a Bank of Cyprus (BoC) Group announcement said. It said overall results for 2001 would remain "satisfactory" under the prevailing conditions.
Profit after tax reached 41.2 million Cyprus pounds ($63.44 million) against 45.9 million pounds in the corresponding period last year, recording a 10.2 percent drop. In the first nine months, profit before tax amounted to 61.1 million pounds ($94 million) compared to 67 million pounds for the same period in 2000, a decrease of 8.8 percent.
"The Group results are considered satisfactory in the light of prevailing conditions in the Cypriot and Greek banking sectors and are comparable with Greek bank results," the statement said.
BoC stock is listed on both the Athens and Nicosia stock exchanges, becoming the first foreign company to float on the Greek market last year. As well as Greece and Cyprus, the island's largest banking group has branches in Britain and Australia. The group said the negative impact on profits was also due to falling stock markets and initial set-up costs for expansion in Greece and establishing the Australia operation. BoC hopes to have 60 branches in Greece by the end of 2001.
Group total assets as of September 30 reached 7.3 billion pounds ($11.24 billion dollars), up 16 percent from the beginning of the year. "Of particular importance is the increase in customer deposits in Greece which reached 1.4 billion pounds compared to 0.8 billion at December 31, 2000, thus recording an increase of 73 percent," the group said. — (AFP, Nicosia)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)