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Central Pacific cuts loss to $16.1 million

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Central Pacific Bank, the state’s fourth largest, is still seeking the capital it needs to satisfy federal and state regulators.

In the meantime, newly appointed Chairman John Dean has other aspects of the bank’s operations moving in the right direction.

The bank’s parent Central Pacific Financial Corp. said yesterday it narrowed its loss to $16.1 million in the second quarter.

It was an improvement from a year ago, when the bank lost $34.4 million, and a dramatic rebound from the first quarter of this year, when the bank lost $160.2 million.

"We’ve made very good
progress, but we recog-
nize there’s much work
to be done."
John Dean
Chairman of Pacific
Financial Corp.,
parent company of
Central Pacific Bank

The bank said last quarter’s loss was an improvement from the preceding three-month period because nonperforming assets decreased, net loan charge-offs declined, the provision for loan losses was reduced and capital ratios strengthened.

The per-share loss was 60 cents versus $1.27 a year ago. Revenue fell 30.9 percent to $41.9 million from $60.7 million.

"We’ve made very good progress, but we recognize there’s much work to be done," Dean said in a telephone interview yesterday. "We’re actively pursuing a capital raise, and we’re looking at all forms of capital, including private equity and private placement."

Dean said he doesn’t dispute the estimation by B. Riley & Co. analyst Joseph Gladue that the bank needs to raise about $200 million, but said an analysis of what is needed is still being conducted. Dean just returned from a mainland trip in which he sought out investors. He declined yesterday to elaborate on potential interest.

"We’re cautiously optimistic in terms of raising capital in the marketplace either by the end of this year or early next year," Dean said yesterday in a conference call.

Gladue said in a June 25 research report that "the odds of Central Pacific being able to raise capital and survive have increased." The analyst said yesterday that "there’s some question how receptive the capital market is in general to capital raises."

"The part within the control of Central Pacific, it’s doing a good job taking care of what it can take care of," Gladue said. "They’ve reduced the amount of construction loans on their books, and that’s been the biggest problem on losses."

Central Pacific said nonperforming assets decreased to $467.2 million as of June 30 from $493.8 million at the end of the first quarter. The bank’s loan-loss provision was $20.4 million compared with $58.8 million as of March 31. Charge-offs were reduced to $30.1 million last quarter from $52.5 million in the preceding three months.

Analyst Brett Rabatin of Sterne Agee said he doesn’t view Central Pacific as a near-term risk given the strides the bank is making.

"I view Central Pacific as an institution that the regulators are likely to give the time for them to raise the money," Rabatin said. "I don’t think there’s an issue with liquidity, and that’s what would make something happen sooner rather than later. I think they’ll be given the opportunity to continue to look for capital."

Last quarter, the bank’s assets decreased 22.5 percent to $4.3 billion from $5.5 billion a year ago. Deposits fell 19.1 percent to $3.2 billion from $4 billion.


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