SocGen's Greek Geniki Bank makes smaller Q1 loss

ATHENS Wed May 30, 2012 6:23pm BST

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ATHENS May 30 (Reuters) - Greek lender Geniki Bank , majority-owned by France's Societe Generale , on Wednesday reported a smaller first quarter loss compared to a year earlier as it booked lower provisions for bad debt.

The bank, taken over by SocGen in 2004, lost 66.3 million euros in the first three months of the year versus a loss of 98.6 million euros in the first quarter of 2011.

Geniki was 795.6 million euros in the red in 2011 and lost 411 million euros in 2010.

Greece's deep recession has continued to take a toll on its loan book, but the bank's provisions for non-performing loans declined by 54 percent year-on-year to 45.6 million euros.

Greece's economy contracted at a 6.2 percent annual pace in the first quarter and is expected to stay in recession for a fifth successive year. Unemployment has climbed to 21.7 percent. (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Andrew Osborn and Jon Loades-Carter)