Year's end stirs no excitement in bank board rooms

  • 2000-01-27
  • By Kairi Kurm
TALLINN - Estonia's three largest banks released their financial results on Jan. 17. Hansapank and Eesti Uhispank ended the year with a respectable profit, while Optiva Bank reported a small loss.

"Although Optiva Pank and Uhispank did some major provisioning at the end of 1999, nothing came as a surprise for me," said Toomas Reisenbuk, chief analyst at Trigon Capital.

Because of underpricing assets at the end of the year, Optiva Bank reported a 30 million kroon loss in December and ended last year with a 18.7 million kroon unconsolidated loss. Analysts believe that Optiva Bank is getting ready for the new investor. Estonia's central bank will sell its share in Optiva Bank during the first half of this year.

"I did not expect any better results for Optiva bank for the previous year. The bank's consolidated results will be negative as well," said Reisienbuk.

At end of December, the bank's balance sheet came to 3.7 billion kroons.

Uhispank also made some major provisions at the end of the year.

Although the bank showed a major profit with the sale of Leks Insurance in December, the month's results were quite reserved. Out of the 124 million kroons' provisions the bank made last year, 115 million were made in December.

"I expected better consolidated results for the bank," said Reisenbuk. Uhispank reported 101 million kroons' unaudited profit for 1999. As of Dec. 31, Uhispank's total assets stood at 14 billion kroons.

Hansapank reported an unconsolidated 540.4 million-kroon profit for 1999.

"It could have been better," Reisenbuk said. Hansapank's financial results for 1999 were significantly affected by extraordinary items received in December.

"Hansapank's consolidated results for 1999 will be better by about 800 million kroons," said Reisenbuk.

Hansapank will publish its consolidated preliminary results for 1999 on Jan. 28. Hansapank's total assets stood at 25.81 billion kroons on Dec. 31.

Hansapank's capital adequacy rating stood at 18.6 percent at the end of the third quarter, which means that the bank is overcapitalized. The management is considering ways to decrease the bank's share capital.