The central bank’s (CBCG) net profit increased by 37% y/y to EUR3.57m in 2018, the CBCG said in its financial report for last year. The central bank said that its revenues rose by 14% y/y to EUR16.7m and were 17% above plan. The CBCG also said that the efficiency of its spending has improved with total staff costs remaining unchanged compared to the previous year. It noted that operational costs were 7% below plan and administrative costs were in line with the plan. The CBCG said that lending demand has increased in Q4. Companies took out loans mainly to refinance existing debts and loans to citizens went mainly for debt refinancing and the purchase of real estate and durable goods.
The central bank also assured that the bankruptcy of Invest Banka and Atlas Banka will not have significant effect on the work of the financial sector. The CBCG said that the solvency ratio at end-2018 was 17.29%, above the minimum 10% level required by the central bank. The CBCG also said that the NPL ratio declined to 5.04% of gross loans at end-February. It added that according to the latest data from end-February, loans, deposits and assets are increasing on annual basis. We note that Atlas Banka was declared bankrupt at the Apr 5 CBCG council session after nobody expressed interest in the recapitalization of the bank.