NordLB's, one of the world's top ten ship financiers, expects the shipping industry to have passed its darkest hour, though provisions will remain high this year as the sector's recovery is slow.
"There are signs that we have passed the cyclical low point in shipping markets," Chief Executive Gunter Dunkel [pictured above] said at the state-owned lender's annual press conference on Tuesday, adding that he did not expect the crisis to end in the near term.
NordLB expects its provisions for bad loans, especially in shipping, to remain above average this year, after seeing them spike to 598 million euros ($779 million) last year from 197 million in 2011.
In contrast to loss-making peer HSH Nordbank, NordLB posted a profit of 80 million euros in 2012, though that still represented a drop from a 536 million euro profit in 2011.
($1 = 0.7674 euros)
--Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Maria Sheahan (C) Reuters 2013.