Erste’s Romanian BCR Unit Posts 2012 Net Loss on Bad-Loan Costs

Banca Comerciala Romana SA, Romania’s largest bank by assets, posted a loss last year because of rising bad-loan costs.

The lender, also known as BCR, had a net loss of 1.23 billion lei ($370 million) in 2012, compared with a profit of 68 million lei in 2011, according to an e-mailed statement. Bad- loan provisions totaled 3.62 billion lei last year from 2.15 billion lei a year earlier.

BCR, majority owned by Erste Group Bank AG (EBS), has been struggling to contain increasing bad-loan costs that prompted the Austrian owner to boost its capital twice in a year and write off the unit’s value twice. Erste seeks a return to profit at its BCR unit this year, based on lower loan losses, higher revenue and cost cuts, it said on Oct. 30.

Bad debt at the Romanian unit was 26.7 percent of all loans last year, while its total assets declined 4.5 percent to 73.3 billion lei in 2012 from a year earlier, according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Irina Savu in Bucharest at isavu@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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