December 4, 2018 / 12:59 PM / in 6 months

Croatia's banks post higher 9-month pretax profits yr/yr

ZAGREB, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Croatia’s banks, largely owned by foreign lenders from Italy, Austria and Hungary, posted a nine-month pretax profit of 5.25 billion kuna ($808.75 million), double the profit achieved in the same period last year, the central bank said on Tuesday.

In the first nine months of 2017, the banks posted a pretax profit of 2.63 billion kuna, largely dented by a debt crisis that struck the biggest Croatian private company.

The biggest local bank Zagrebacka Banka, owned by Italy’s Unicredit, reported a nine-month pretax profit of 1.74 billion kuna, while the second biggest lender Privredna Banka Zagreb, owned by Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo, made a pretax profit of 1.13 billion kuna.

Six out of a total of 23 banks posted losses in the first nine months of this year.

The overall assets of Croatia’s banks at the end of September equalled 405.7 billion kuna.

The level of non-performing loans at the end of September amounted to 10.26 percent, down from 12.51 percent a year before. Non-performing loans peaked in mid-2015 when they reached 17.34 percent.

The central bank has previously said it expected the level of bad loans to fall below 10 percent by the end of 2018.

$1 = 6.4915 kuna Reporting by Igor Ilic Editing by Edmund Blair

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