Greek banking sector turning corner

Three Greek banks released financial results for the second quarter and first six months of 2014 on Thursday. Alpha Bank, Attica Bank and the National Bank of Greece (NBG) surprised the market by posting profits.

Analysts had predicted that of the four systemic banks, Alpha, Eurobank, Piraeus and NBG, only the latter would be in the black.

NBG, said it had made a 965 million euro net profit during the three months to June, while Alpha saw after tax earnings reach 361.6 million euro in the quarter despite predictions pointing to a 65 million euro loss. Deferred tax assets helped inflate profits while surprisingly enough while both reported a slower growth rate in bad loans and improved net interest income.

Meanwhile, smaller lender Attica Bank posted profit of 34.4 million euro in the first half against losses of 22.3 million euro in H1 2013. The NPL ratio (loans in arrears for more than 90 days) stood at 24.5 per cent as on June 30 2014.

Piraeus Bank and Eurobank are due to release their second-quarter results after the market close on Friday.

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