Greece's largest lender National Bank has reported a loss as increased provisions for bad debt offset profit at its Turkish unit Finansbank. As Katie Gregory reports the results were no surprise
The cash is going out... but there's not as much coming in for the National Bank of Greece. The country's largest lender reported a net loss of 1.11 billion euros in fourth quarter last year, that's a substantial drop from a net profit of 30 million euros just three months earlier. A sign that Greece's woes are far from over - says Rabobank's Jane Foley. (SOUNDBITE) (English) RABOBANK, SENIOR FX STRATEGIST, JANE FOLEY, SAYING: "Although we can argue that there has been an improvement over recent years with Greece's primary surplus etc increasing, I think it remains the case that Greece is very close to the mark in terms of it's financial strains right now and I think this is only going to be guaranteed further by the results of the bank today." The National Bank recovered from the debt crisis - only to be hit by recent political instability and fears of a Grexit. In just one year NBG has seen almost 750 million euros wiped from it's profit margin. AND just last month - during tense talks with the country's European creditors - bank customers began pulling euros out at a rapid rate. The one shining light - Turkish unit Finansbank - which contributed 62 million euros to fourth quarter earnings. That figure along with promising talks between Greece and Germany - actually bolstered the company's share price. There was also the announcement of a new board president and group chief executive - to hopefully turn NBG's fortunes around. New President, Louka Katseli, is a former socialist government minister - who once voted AGAINST Greece's loan deal with foreign creditors.