Bulgarian Banking Profits Up 32%
- New Europe Investor
- November 03, 2015
Profits in the Bulgarian banking sector have increased by 32.3% for the first nine months of 2015, compared to the same period last year.
Commercial banks in Bulgaria saw profits of 795 million lev (€406 million) in the first nine months of the year, which is larger than the profits for the entirety of 2014. Profits for the commercial banking industry in Bulgaria for 2014 was 600 million lev (€306 million).
The Bulgarian National Bank (BNB), said the improved profitability was down to lower interest expenses and a higher income from commission and fees.
The increase came as a surprise to many. Earlier in the year during the Greek crisis, there was concern that it may lead to contagion. Many banks in Bulgaria are owned or partly owned by the Greek government, banks, investors and pension funds.
Total banking assets according to the BNB is 85.5 billion lev (€43 billion). Bulgaria’s five largest commercial banks are; Unicredit Bulbank, DSK Bank, First Investment Bank, UBB and Raiffeisenbank, and combined, they represent 56% of the country’s banking assets.