Greece-based Piraeus Bank pumps 1bn euros into retail lending

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Retail loans disbursed by the local subsidiary of Piraeus Bank, one of the largest financial groups in Greece, reached one billion euros at the end of the first quarter, four times higher than in March last year.
 
Out of the overall loans managed by the Greek bank (worth a total of 2.7 billion euros), retail loans hold the biggest share of 37 pct. Funding granted to small and medium-sized enterprises amounted to 252 million euros, up 245 pct against the same time last year. Clients on the corporate segment took out credits worth 1.4 billion euros, twice as high as the volume recorded on March 31, 2007.
 
"The first three months of 2008 witnessed significant increases for all three of the bank’s business lines – corporate, SMEs and retail," said Stavros Lekkakos, Chairman and General Manager of Piraeus Bank Group Romania, quoted by Ziarul financiar.
 
The deposits managed by the Greek bank exceeded 640 million euros at the end of March – twice the figure posted in March last year.
 
The bank’s client portfolio saw a 156 pct increase and amounted to 225,000 individuals and corporate entities.
 
At the end of March, the credit institution had issued 63,000 cards, up 251 pct on the same time last year. In addition, the bank’s ATM network reached 159 units.
 
In the first quarter of the year, Piraeus Bank opened 20 new branches, whilst the territorial network reached 130 units.
 
The Greek bank was among the entities with the fastest increase on the local market, and accounted for a 5 pct market share at the end of the first quarter, compared with 3.2 pct in March last year.
 
Piraeus Bank’s net profit increased seven times, and reached 12.5 million euros in the first quarter of the year against the same period in 2007. The bank’s assets exceeded the 3 billioneuro mark in Q1, up 190 pct from 1.139 billion euros in Q1 2007.
 
Piraeus Bank Group was the financial group with the fastest growth rate in Greece, and operates on the retail banking and SMEs segments, on the capital market, as well as on the investment banking and leasing market.
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