Piraeus Bank Nine-Month Loss Reaches 1.15 Billion Euros

Piraeus Bank SA (TPEIR), Greece’s fourth- largest lender, reported a nine-month loss after it wrote down its holdings of government debt and clients pulled deposits.

The net loss was 1.15 billion euros ($1.5 billion) compared with a profit of 39 million euros a year earlier, according to a statement e-mailed by the Athens-based bank today. The amount didn’t include a 21 million-euro loss on the lender’s Egyptian unit, which the bank is trying to sell.

“In the second half of 2011 there was a significant increase in uncertainty in the international economic and financial environment,” Chairman Michalis Sallas said in the statement.

Piraeus wrote down 1.08 billion euros in the nine months from about 7.5 billion euros of Greek bond holdings after a July debt swap agreement that was part a European Union bailout for the country. The bank said it will likely have further losses on the debt in its full-year results as a new agreement seeks to impose bigger writedowns on investors.

Deposits shrank 3 percent over the third quarter to 24.5 billion euros, Piraeus said. The outflow at Greek banks continued after September, with Greek lenders losing as much as 14 billion euros in the two months to the end of October, George Provopoulos, head of the Greek central bank, told lawmakers in Athens yesterday.

Net-interest income for the nine months rose 4 percent to 916 million euros, Piraeus said. The core Tier-One capital ratio at the end of September was 7.4 percent, the bank added.

To contact the reporters on this story: Marcus Bensasson in Athens at mbensasson@bloomberg.net; Tom Stoukas in Athens at astoukas@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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