Net interest income rise fueled recovery of First Investment Bank in Q1 2015

First Investment Bank (Fibank)

First Investment Bank (Fibank)

FIBANK, 3rd largest bank in the country by assets showed recovery in Q1 2015 earnings after 2014 distress in the banking sector, reported ELANA Trading analysts in the latest earnings analysis. In the first quarter of the year the Bulgarian banking sector realized a 27% y-o-y profit growth, amounting to BGN 285 m, fueled by changes in the pricing strategies and lower impairment expenses. FIBANK recovery was fueled by a significant net interest income rise in line with the trend in the sector.

Nevertheless, the bank registered also higher impairment costs on its unseasoned loan portfolio. Moreover, weak corporate governance, borrower concentration and low probability of additional external support urged Fitch to downgrade FIBANK’s rating to B- FROM BB-.

FIBANK operates as a financial group with main business in Bulgaria and regional presence through foreign operations in Cyprus and Albania. The bank is listed on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange Premium shares segment. They are among the actively traded shares on the market and their performance usually dominates the local stock exchange main index – SOFIX. FIBANK shares are also part of BGBX40, which tracks the 40 most liquid stocks on the market.

Read more in ELANA Trading equity research on First Investment Bank