Insider Economy BoC: Covid-19 presents an “unprecedented external economic shock"

BoC: Covid-19 presents an “unprecedented external economic shock”


The coronavirus outbreak is first and foremost a health crisis, presenting an unprecedented external economic shock, Bank of Cyprus’ Chief Executive Officer Panicos Nicolaou said, with the Bank’s chairman Takis Arapoglu noting that the Covid-19 would slow the bank’s progress in addressing its main challenges.

“Cyprus and the world are coming to terms with a global pandemic that is changing the way we run our businesses and conduct our daily lives. COVID-19 is first and foremost a health crisis, presenting an unprecedented external economic shock,” Nicolaou told a virtual Annual General Meeting held digitally due to the Covid-19 measures.

His comments came as the Bank of Cyprus announced loss after tax amounting to €26 million for the first quarter of 2019 as the bank increased its provisions for credit loss to €64 million, including €28 million due to the impact of the Covid-19 crisis. The bank also said the coronavirus outbreak would delay its second large sale of a non-performing loan package called Helix 2. The bank’s NPL rate declined to 29% of total loans at end-March.

“The spread of COVID-19 is expected to have a significant impact both on the global and the Cypriot economy. The impact on the Cypriot economy will largely depend on the duration and the intensity of the pandemic,” Nicolaou said, adding the Bank’s priorities “during  these  unprecedented  times  are  clear: protect the health of our colleagues and customers, support them and the Cypriot economy,  while also ensuring the operational resilience of the Bank.”

Furthermore, Nicolaou said following a government decree for loan repayment moratoria, the bank has received loans amounting to €5.7 billion, namely €3.7 billion in corporate loans and €2 billion in retail credit facilities.

On his part, Takis Arapoglou, the Bank’s Chairman said that “significant progress has been achieved” in addressing the bank’s challenges, noting however that “unfortunately, the  advent of  the pandemic has  prevented us from progressing as fast as we wanted and could, but hopefully, with  perhaps some delay, we will get back on track  soon.”

“It is still early days in this crisis and forecasts on its duration and impact change virtually by the day. However, we believe that due to the excellent work done during the past few years, the Bank will be in a position to manage any foreseeable adverse situations.
“Our priority is clearly to create a world-class, highly performing European bank, free of old baggage which can meaningfully support our good customers and through them the Cyprus Economy  going  forward,” Arapoglou concluded.


Top Stories

122 new cases, one death announced on Friday

The Health Ministry announced the death of one person due to COVID-19. This raises the death toll from the virus in Cyprus to 179,...

Where to get antigen rapid tests on Saturday

The Health Ministry announced the following antigen rapid test sites for Saturday, 23 January 2021: LIMASSOL Grigoris Afxentiou Square 08:30-16:30 Gafkos Clerides Park, Germasoyia 08:30-16:30 Municipal Hall Ypsonas...

Civil servants’ trade union requests psychological support for health professionals

PASYDY, the civil servants’ trade union requested psychological support for health professionals due to the consequences of COVID-19 on their health. The trade union noted...

Scientific advisory committee to convene on Monday under President Anastasiades

Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades, will preside on Monday morning over a meeting of the scientific advisory committee on COVID-19. According to CNA information, during the...

Polish medics depart for Slovakia to help mass testing

A group of 200 Polish medics departed for neighbouring Slovakia on Friday (January 22) to help in a week-long testing campaign in the central...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...