“Piraeus Bank’s performance in the first half of 2023 reaffirmed the value of its franchise and confirmed we are on the right track towards our targets. In H1.23 we delivered a strong set of results, generating €0.33 normalized earnings per share and 14% RoaTBV. Our Group has achieved sustainable risk-adjusted profitability and capital build-up, while maintaining a superior liquidity profile and cost discipline. Balance sheet clean-up continued, with the NPE ratio dropping further to 5.5%, already meeting our year-end target, while NPE coverage increased to 57%.
The organic capital generation has driven our CET1 ratio to 12.3%, up by 0.7% year-to-date. Our cost discipline efforts continued for yet another quarter, with operating expenses declining further, absorbing the inflationary pressures and achieving historically low cost-to-core income ratio of 32% in the second quarter.
Our Group’s performing loan portfolio grew 6% yoy, with €800mn net credit expansion in Q2 and a strong pipeline of business projects for the second part of the year. Moreover, client assets under management increased to €8.2bn as of June 2023, 9% higher qoq, leveraging our extensive expertise in this field. Overall, our reinforced commercial franchise has delivered a 16% net fee income growth in the first half of 2023 compared to a year ago.
Piraeus Bank has successfully completed the 2023 SSM Stress Test Exercise conducted by the EBA. The 3-year period depletion of the adverse scenario for Piraeus (-2.4%) is the 13th lowest among the EBA sample of 70 banks, almost half of European banks' average depletion (-4.6%).
On the back of the strong H1.23 performance and the evolving interest rate environment, we upgrade our key financial targets for the full year 2023, now aiming for return over tangible book of approximately 14%, with cost-to-core income of below 38%. NPE ratio is expected to end year-2023 below the 5% milestone level.
Finally, we are proud to be named "Best Bank in Greece" at the international Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2023, following the strong financial results, the continuous improvement of the Bank's key indicators and the consistent implementation of its strategic plan.
We will continue to deliver on our plan and we remain focused on creating value for our shareholders, clients, and employees, and supporting the Greek economic recovery.”