Millennium Posts Best Quarter in 11 Years on Gain From Visa Deal

  • Revenue from Visa transaction helps Polish bank offset new tax
  • BCP unit says second-quarter net income jumps 78 percent

Bank Millennium SA had the highest quarterly profit in 11 years as the Polish unit of Banco Comercial Portugues SA booked a gain from a deal with Visa Inc.

Net income in the three months ended June 30 surged 78 percent to 293.8 million zloty ($74 million), the biggest profit since the fourth quarter of 2005, the Warsaw-based lender said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday. The first Polish lender to report second-quarter earnings booked a gain of 283 million zloty from Visa’s takeover of Visa Europe Ltd., in which Millennium was a member bank.

The extra gain helped the Polish lender at least temporarily offset the impact of a new tax introduced in February, as well as low borrowing costs and higher payments into a deposit guarantee fund, all of which have been taking a toll on earnings. The one-off helps the bank, which is among the Polish lenders most exposed to foreign currency mortgages, arm for a planned law on the conversion of such loans, which may push the industry into losses.

Millennium paid 48.3 million zloty in the new bank tax in the second quarter. Net interest income rose to 382.6 million zloty from 333.4 million zloty a year earlier, while net fee income dropped 5.2 percent to 139.8 million zloty.

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