BCR’s operating performance in Q3 2012 reached an improved result of EUR 136.6 M, up by 3.8 percent on Q2 2012 in a continuing difficult market – a weak loan demand, strong competition for deposits and low risk assets as well as a volatile FOREX rate RON / EUR putting additional pressure on bank’s customers, a press release informs. Reflecting comprehensive optimisation measures, operating expenses in the first nine months 2012 reduced by 6.1 percent or EUR 17.4 M YOY to EUR 267.4 M. It’s worth noticing that Q3 operating expenses (RON 377.5 mil) constitute the lowest quarterly charge in the last five years. The operating income in the first nine months declined by 4.5 percent YOY to EUR 679 M, mainly on the decline in net interest income (-10.2 percent YOY) which is due to weak consumer credit demand, increase of non performing loans (NPLs) and declining interest margins due to the shift to low risk assets. Continued prudent provisioning resulted in an increase of risks costs also in Q3 2012. Net charge with risk provisions for loans in the first nine months 2012 has increased by 63.8 percent in yearly comparison to RON 2,635.2 million. Additional provisioning requirements in Q3 led to a continuously improved NPL coverage ratio of 57.2 percent as of end-September 2012 versus 50.6 percent at year-end 2011. BCR group maintained its leading position in the market with around 20 percent market share by total assets despite a decline by 0.5 percent YTD to EUR 16,827.9 M.