Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Bank of Cyprus prepares London Stock Exchange listing
Shareholders at the Bank of Cyprus, the island’s largest lender, are expected on Tuesday to approve the listing of its shares on the London Stock Exchange, marking a milestone in the recovery of the bank as well as the country of Cyprus.
“It has been a thousand days of repairs,” Chief Executive John Hourican said in an interview. “Cypriots once again trust the bank. This is reflected in rising domestic deposit numbers,” he said.
However, the bank continues to face a huge challenge from Europe’s financial-crisis years: A mountain of nonperforming assets, totaling 58% of the lender’s total loan book. The ratio of bad loans has been falling since mid-2015, when Cyprus’s recession ended, but remains one of the highest of any bank in the eurozone.
It is a fact that the non-performing loans ares still very high. Nevertheless the management of the bank has been diligent in lowering this quarter after quarter. I expect that to continue. As the economy of Cyprus continues to improve I expect it will easier for the bank to continue to resolve its non-performing loan problem and return to consistent profitability. The London listing is a reflection of managements confidence in the bank and will allow for a larger more diverse group of shareholders.