Ukraine`s banking system recorded losses of 7 billion hryvnias ($909 million) in the first quarter of 2009 compared to a profit of 2.1 billion hyrnvias in the same period a year ago, according to a central bank report, Reuters reported.
The report, issued on Tuesday, said the losses were the first reported in the sector since 2000, when losses in the second quarter totalled 145.8 million hryvnias and 30 million hryvnias throughout the year.
"The results of the first quarter of 2009 show a negative result of 7.0 billion hryvnias which, in the first instance, is linked to the significant rise in funds set aside for reserves totalling 17.3 billion hryvnias," the report said.
But it also said income for all banks actually rose 68.1 percent in the first quarter to 37.7 billion hryvnias despite the world financial crisis, shrinking credit portfolios and an outflow of deposits.
Total expenditures in the same period, however, rose 2.2 times to total 44.8 billion hryvnias.
The world crisis has hit Ukraine hard, with industrial output plunging nearly 32 percent in the first quarter of 2009 against the same period last year.
The hryvnia currency has lost more than 60 percent of its value since last September and personal incomes have declined, leading to difficulties in repayment of debt.
Repayment problems and an outflow of deposits have resulted in 13 of the more than 180 banks operating in Ukraine being placed under temporary central bank administration and given protection from creditors.
Four of those banks are considered in a group bringing together the country`s largest -- including Nadra, ranked 9th, Ukrprombank, 15th and Rodovid, 20th and Kyiv, 39th. ($=7.7 hryvnias)