UPDATE 1-One-off costs tip Greece's Eurobank to first-half loss

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ATHENS, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Eurobank’s sale of a majority stake in its FPS loan collection business and a bad loans securitisation project tipped the Greek bank into a first-half loss after one-off costs on Tuesday.

Greek banks have been battling to cut back about 60 billion euros ($72 billion) in bad loans, the legacy of a decade-long financial crisis that shrank the economy by a quarter.

Eurobank, which is 2.4% owned by Greece’s HFSF bank rescue fund, reported a net loss of 1.16 billion euros for the first half versus a net profit of 32 million euros in the same period last year.

In June, Greece’s third-largest bank agreed to sell 80% of FPS to doValue, along with a chunk of mezzanine and junior notes from a 7.5 billion bad loan securitisation.

Eurobank said the transaction, dubbed Project Cairo, weighed on first-half results but helped it reduce its non-performing exposures (NPEs) to 15.3% of its loan book at the end of June, from 32.8% in the first half of 2019. Adjusted for the sale, Eurobank posted a net profit of 176 million euros in the first half, up from 97 million in the same period last year. ($1 = 0.8369 euros) (Reporting by Athens Newsroom; Editing by Alexander Smith)