May 28, 2015 / 2:12 PM / 3 years ago

Hypo Balkans network narrows 2014 loss

VIENNA, May 28 (Reuters) - The Balkans network of banks hived off from defunct Austrian lender Hypo Alpe Adria narrowed its loss to 97.4 million euros ($106 million) in 2014, it said on Thursday ahead of its sale to private equity group Advent International and the EBRD.

Hypo Group Alpe Adria AG (HGAA) said impairments and risk provisioning triggered the loss, which compared with a loss of 302 million in 2013.

Its sale to Advent and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is due by mid-year.

HGAA went operational in April after it was carved out of Hypo last year. Portfolio transfers and sales of non-performing loans (NPLs) helped reduce its NPL ratio to 12.2 percent and boost its Tier 1 capital ratio to 20.1 percent at year-end.

Its customer receivables fell 13 percent to 5.16 billion amid a low level of new business and a weak economy. Deposits dipped to 4.00 billion from 4.16 billion.

Once the sale closes, the new owners will focus on expanding HGAA’s retail and business with small and mid-sized companies, it said.

“The goal in the current year remains to consistently increase cost efficiency throughout the group and to further strengthen local funding via deposits.”

Based in Austria, HGAA has banking subsidiaries in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro. ($1 = 0.9185 euros) (Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by David Holmes)

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