Romania’s Libra Internet Bank boosts H1 profit by 10%

Romania’s Libra Internet Bank said its first-half net profit rose by 10% on the year to 51.02 million lei ($11.8 million/10.8 million euro), according to SeeNews.com.

The strong rise was mainly driven by a significant growth of the loan portfolio and by optimization of operating expenses, the bank said in a press release.

Libra Internet Bank’s assets edged up 2% on the year to 5.57 billion lei as at end-June. Loan portfolio increased to 3.74 billion lei in the first half, up 22% year-on-year. The bank’s bad loan ratio was 1.89% at the end of June, lower than 2.4% a year earlier and well below the average of 4.74% for the Romanian banking system.

“Our growth engine remains the niche approach, such as liberal professions, agriculture and real estate,” Libra Internet Bank general manager Emil Bituleanu said.

In terms of profit, the bank aims to reach at least the level of last year of about 95 million lei, the general manager added.

Libra Internet Bank has a network of 53 branches in Romania, serving mostly customers with liberal professions, SMEs, as well as corporate and agribusiness clients.

The bank, a member of US-based investment group New Century Holdings since 2003, operates three IT centres in Romania – in Bucharest, Craiova and Cluj-Napoca.

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