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A significant negative drag to our results are increasing provision charges, which went up by 32% year-on-year. We continue to focus on improving operational efficiency and in that regard, the Group OpEx are down 5% year-on-year and 3% on the quarter.This is predominantly on the back of another strong selling in Greece where OpEx has slashed by 9% year-on-year and another percentage point on the quarter, on the back of 9% reduction year-on-year in personnel costs. On the asset quality front, the adverse conditions in Greece continue to weigh heavily on outperformance. Delinquency flows continued to deteriorate and indeed deteriorated significantly in the quarter and as a result, our cost of risk has end up to 300 basis for the first nine months of the year. As a counterpoint to this in SEE, despite the mild deleverage that we experienced in the last quarter, we are witnessing a continued normalization, a stabilization of across all books. Therefore, in the region cost of risk declined around 30 basis year-on-year to 236 basis, and the data points we have post Q3 seem to support a long-term trend of asset quality improvement. In Turkey, cost of risk is normalizing, down around 20 basis year-on-year to just of 100 basis at 94, 95 basis for the period. Our international subsidiaries continue to address the Group’s bottom line. They contributed over €300 million worth of profits for the first nine months. Finansbank, obviously, contributed the bulk. Considering the fact where the Turkish lira has depreciated by whopping 27% in the past year, this is an impressive result. Turning to page three, on the Group topline, we’ve seen a decline of 6% year-on-year, flat on the quarter, just off the €3 billion mark. If we strip by the way the affect of the Turkish lira i.e. at constant Turkish lira terms, the Group income declined even less, a very moderate 2% and as a fact -- as a matter of fact increased by 1% in the quarter.
This performance is now small feat considering the calamitous conditions we are operating in and speaks of the value of our diversified business model. It also provide, say, available cushion for rising cost of risk in these very difficult times.On a Group basis, the margin was flat in the quarter, just over 360 basis and surprisingly this is mostly due to a resilient topline in Greece where net interest income was flat at €632 million and NIM increased by 6 basis to 317. In Turkey, our interest income for the quarter increased to €528 million as we continued to grow in the high yielding segments, especially in the retail side and re-price the asset side in response to change in monetary conditions. As a result, the margin contraction was -- in the quarter was around 30 odd basis relatively contained, despite continuing effort and focus on deposit collection and the extraordinary positive results that we have scored in that front. Clearly, as you know, in the sector we have -- new regulatory reserve requirements during the quarter that weighed on the performance of the sector and clearly, Finansbank. That said, our margin is steadily at 500 basis, the highest in the private sector banks and for the reasons that we can explain set to suffer the least contraction in the -- as a result of the changing tone in the monetary policy. In Southeastern Europe, both net interest income and the margin declined, decline impacted by, as I said, the mild deleveraging of our loan books in the region. Turning to page four, no need to spend more time. We are quite pleased with the cost performance across the Group but especially Greece. I just highlight that domestic personnel costs and G&A’s have gone down by double-digit 10%, which is a pretty strong result. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com