CEC Bank still among first 5 most profitable banks


Gross profit amounted to RON 56 M in 2013.

Last year, CEC Bank’s net profit went up by 5.4 percent from RON 37 million to around RON 39 million, while assets remained stable at RON 26.9 billion, Radu Gratian Ghetea, the Bank president, announced during yesterday’s presentation of the 2013 bank activity report in a press conference. In late April, the General Shareholders Assembly decided to use the net profit resulting from legal distributions to increase the bank’s share capital, which is expected to go from RON 1.163 billion to RON 1.124 billion.
The bank’s gross profit was RON 56.2 million, up by 67 percent from last year’s RON 33.5 million.
With bank assets amounting to RON 26.9 billion and a market share of 7.34 percent in 2013 compared with 7.25 percent in 2012, CEC Bank managed to maintain fifth place among the first five banks by value of assets.
“Assets stagnated because the level of state bond operations last year was not as high as in previous years and we had reached a threshold that no longer allowed us to purchase new bonds. State bonds are still considered secure, but they can be risky, given that trading operations depend on the interest rate. This is why we set out to maintain our asset value, but lending activity levels and the level of deposits have increased,” Ghetea said.
Boost in lending activity
Last year, the credit balance was RON 12.26 billion, RON 11.93 billion higher than in 2012, data provided by CEC Bank shows further. The company loan portfolio climbed by 8 percent last year to RON 8.15 billion. However, retail loans, cards included, dropped by 7.3 percent from RON 4.4 billion to RON 4.1 billion. Company loans accounted for 67 percent, above the 22 percent level of 2006.
CEC Bank granted around 21,300 new loans to legal persons last year amounting to RON 2.72 billion, 28.87 percent of which were loans in the agriculture sector and 27.27 percent were loans granted to local public authorities. “Niche banks are not the most advantageous banking model at the moment. Being a universal commercial bank, we are able to channel our efforts to multiple branches. We adapt to market demand. We also took part in every government program,” Ghetea noted.
Furthermore, the CEC Bank president reiterated the conclusion reached in the quarterly meeting between members of the Association of Romanian Banks (ARB) – which he chairs – and Mugur Isarescu, governor of the National Bank of Romania (BNR), according to which the lending activity has seemingly been invigorated. In this respect, Ghetea stated that the number of loans granted by CEC Bank to natural persons in 2014 reported a 15 percent growth between January and April and the value of loans also increased by 56 percent compared with the same period in 2013. In the legal persons segment, the lending volume climbed by 22 percent in the same period. “We have not experienced two-digit growth for a while, so the fact that it is the first quarter of the year with such good results and an increase in lending activities gives us hope,” Ghetea remarked.
CEC Bank has been active for 150 years, and yesterday, May 6, it marked six years since the launch of the new brand. Before the end of last year, it had restructured 19.2 percent of the overall loan portfolio, 10.7 percent of which were loans granted to natural persons (4,334 loans, RON 439 million) and 23.5 percent to companies (1,478 loans, RON 1.9 billion). CEC had financed close to 22,000 projects eligible for European funding before the end of last year involving loans worth a total of RON 7.27 billion. At the end of last year, the Bank had 3.4 million natural person clients and around 147,200 company clients, 6,233 employees, 1,091 operational units (in decline from 1,128 units), a network of 1,118 ATMs, and just over 1 million cards.
Last, but not least, Radu Ghetea, president of CEC Bank, pointed out that bank shareholders decide whether the person running the bank needs to be replaced – in this case, the Ministry of Public Finance – but failed to provide further details on the matter.

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