“Although we have a negative economic outlook for the coming period, we remain optimistic on the bank’s capability to keep a favorable evolution. Our optimism is supported by cautiousness, effective stewardship of expenditures and thorough risk assessment”, said the chief executive officer of Piraeus Bank Romania, Catalin Parvu.

Piraeus Bank Romania’s loan portfolio under management increased to roughly 3.7 bln euros at the end of last year, up nearly 56% from December 2007, the bank mentioning that the level of risk provisions is properly ensured.

The outstanding deposits increased by 82% last year, exceeding 1 bln euros threshold. The number of customers rose 53% last year.

The bank’s assets amounted over 4.3 bln euros on December 31, 2008, 51% above the prior year level.

As for the performance indicators, the return on equity reached 12.2% at the end of last year, up 2.3% from prior year period, while the cost/income ratio was 47.8% in 2008.

Piraeus Bank Romania reported a common capital of 270 mln euros, which sends the bank to third position in the Romanian banking landscape.

The bank has issued over 100,000 cards last year, posting a 106% record growth in this segment. Piraeus Bank Romania network comprised 180 units, 64% more than a year earlier, as well as 230 cash dispensers, up 74%.