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Greece’s Piraeus Bank Optimistic for the Future

Piraeus Bank
The headquarters of the Piraeus Bank in Athens, Greece. Public Domain.

One of Greece’s largest banks, the Piraeus Bank, issued a statement on Wednesday regarding its performance so far in 2021 and its plans for the future.

A fast economic recovery is anticipated in the second half of 2021, with further acceleration in 2022, mainly driven by domestic demand and the inauguration of projects under the Recovery and Resilience Facility,” Christos Megalou, the Chief Executive Officer of the Bank stated.

”Against this backdrop, our performance is strong and driven by our massive transformation program. Piraeus has already granted €3.8bn of new financing until end-July, ahead of our €5.7bn target for 2021. Customer deposits and client mutual funds increased by 2.2bn in the first six months of 2021,” he noted.

Across our operations, we continued to focus on supporting our customers, growing our revenues, and managing our costs efficiently. This progress resulted in core pre-provision income of €0.5bn in H1.21, up 18 percent year on year. Total pre-provision income, including trading and other operating income, stood at 1.0bn in H1.2021,” he added, showcasing the excellent performance of the Bank in such a difficult year.

”Our progress to date exceeds our initial expectations. Both the 1.4bn share capital increase and the €0.6bn Additional Tier 1 issuance, were successfully completed during the second quarter of the year, marking two significant milestones,” Megalou declared.

The EU-wide stress tests and the bank

Commenting on the EU-wide stress testing of the European Banking Authority, Megalou noted that the capital position of Piraeus Bank is solid.

”The recent SSM Stress Test result is a testament to our material improvement. The fully loaded CET1 ratio in the adverse scenario of the exercise, taking into account the completed share capital increase, stood at 10.0%, at par with the respective metric of the European average,” the Chief Executive stated.

”We are working for additional tangible results. We are proceeding with the implementation of new strategic initiatives, with the aim to capture upside opportunities, namely leveraging on the RRF structural funds, increasing our asset management business, introducing new asset management strategies for our real estate portfolio to capture the anticipated upside, while in parallel exploiting digital ecosystem commercial opportunities,” he added.

We remain committed to our aspirations for single-digit NPE ratio, high single-digit return over tangible equity, and strong capitalization, as communicated to our shareholders. At the same time, we are stepping up our ESG agenda with an actionable 12-month plan for the benefit of the Greek economy and society at large,” Megalou concluded.

What is Piraeus Bank?

Piraeus Bank is a Greek multinational financial services company with its headquarters in Athens, Greece.

Piraeus Bank’s stock has been listed on the Athens Stock Exchange (ATHEX) for more than a century, since January 1918.

The bank was established when a group of shipowners in Piraeus, the ancient port city of Athens, founded the ”Banque du Pirée”in 1916 to finance trade.

The Greek government bought the bank in 1975 and transformed it into a national bank.

The new headquarters designed by Sir Basil Spence was built on Stadiou Street in the center of Athens. In December 1991, the right-wing government of Konstantinos Mitsotakis privatized the bank, which has grown significantly in size and scope since then.

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