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Western Liberty Bancorp reports loss for first quarter

Western Liberty Bancorp Inc. reported a first-quarter loss Wednesday, a result executives with the Las Vegas-based holding company attributed to the continuing stabilization of its loan portfolio.

Western Liberty, parent of Service 1st Bank of Nevada and Las Vegas Sunset Properties, posted a loss of $1.1 million, or 8 cents per share, in the first quarter, compared with a $409,000, or 3 cents per share, loss in the same period last year.

The company lost $2.4 million, or 17 cents per share, in the fourth quarter.

Western Liberty Chief Executive Officer William Martin said the company moved $18 million in classified loans to Las Vegas Sunset Properties in the first quarter. The nonbank holding company formed in December allows the bank to move problem or foreclosed assets off its books.

He said the bank actually earned a $62,000 profit, but expenses at the holding company generated the overall loss in the first quarter. Martin said the company would continue to “monitor asset quality,” while maintaining “our reserves at the appropriate level.”

Shares of Western Liberty fell 5 cents, or 1.68 percent, to close Wednesday at $2.92 on the Nasdaq Global Market.

Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at csieroty@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893.

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