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Banco Popolare reports net consolidated loss of 945 million

Italian lender hit by joint-venture red ink and soured loans

15 March, 20:16
Banco Popolare reports net consolidated loss of 945 million (ANSA) - Milan, March 15 - The northern Italian lender Banco Popolare reported on Friday a net consolidated loss of 945 million euros in 2012, clobbered by a lackluster joint venture and corrections made by Italian supervisory authority to its bad loans total. Banco Popolare's stake in the consumer credit joint-venture Agos-Ducato - which is controlled by French lender Credit Agricole - chalked up 516 million euros of losses on Banco Popolare's books, 400 million of which landed in the fourth quarter.

In addition, 683.5 million euros' worth of loan-loss provisions - an allowance for bad loans - were posted in the last quarter, raising the total to 1.284 billion for the year - a number that increased thanks to Italy's watchdog central bank, which advised Banco Popolare to adjust its books after taking a look at them in recent inspections of a sampling of banks.

Banco Popolare said its "net result, excluding (rating variations)" was a loss of 627 million euros, and its "'normalized' net income" for the year added up to 145 million euros.