PRAGUE – Czech lender MONETA Money Bank raised its 2021 profit forecast on Friday after a stronger-than-expected third quarter as risk costs eased, while higher interest rates bode well for the future.
The country’s sixth-largest bank has been helped by an improving economy and a central bank that is quickly raising interest rates to tame fast-rising inflation, although MONETA Chief Executive Tomas Spurny said some risks were still clouding the outlook.
MONETA forecast net profit to reach at least 3.6 billion Czech crowns in 2021, up from an earlier 3.0 billion.
The revision comes after it posted a third-quarter net profit of 1.47 billion crowns, well above a Reuters poll estimate of 1.09 billion.
Net interest income and net banking income were slightly above expectations in the quarter, but risk costs eased sharply, boosting profit and the outlook.
Spurny told journalists the bank would update its 2022-2025 outlook likely in February but said he saw some upside potential to earnings.
“The upside coming from higher interest rates is in the range of 4-5% of cumulative net interest income,” he said.
Risk costs, though, would rise, he said.
The bank was waiting to see what impact rising costs such as from spiking energy prices and higher borrowing costs would have on customers, and Spurny said a possible resurgence in the COVID-19 pandemic was another risk.
(Reporting by Jason Hovet; editing by Jason Neely)