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Fortis Bank loses €20.6 bln in 2008

  Fortis Bank, the former Belgian banking unit of the troubled Fortis financial group, announced on Tuesday a net loss of €20.6 billion ($27.37 billion) in 2008.

Fortis Bank said in a statement that the net loss was mainly caused by the effects of the ABN AMRO acquisition in 2007 and the subsequent divestment in 2008, additional provisions on the structured credit portfolio, repercussions of the economic crisis on market related activities, and losses realized on the bond and equity portfolio.

The bulk of the net loss was related to its parent company’s carve-up by the Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourg governments, the statement said.

As part of that bailout effort, Fortis Bank, the biggest bank in Belgium, was sold to the Belgian government in October and is now waiting for shareholders’ approval for sale to French bank BNP Paribas.

Excluding exceptional factors, Fortis Bank said it had achieved an underlying net profit of €903 million in 2008, down from €2.3 billion in 2007. (Xinhua)