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Credit Agricole unveils 2.68 bn euro charge

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

France's Credit Agricole bank on Friday said that its fourth quarter 2012 results will be hit by a 2.68-billion-euro ($3.65 billion) charge that reflects tighter regulations and the current financial climate.

The results, to be released on February 20, come after the bank's third quarter earnings disappointed investors in November, registering a net loss of 2.85 billion euros, mainly owing to the cost of unwinding Greek investments.

Impairment charges represent the difference between the price paid for assets and their current value.

The bank stressed that the charge has "no impact on its solvency or liquidity" because "goodwill is already fully deducted in the calculation of solvency ratios."

In addition, the charges "do not involve any cash outflows and do not affect the strength of the Group," a statement said.

Most of the charge comes from consumer finance, which accounted for 923 million euros and in international retail and banking, which accounted for 921 million euros, the lion's share of which -- 852 million euros -- came from retail banking in Italy, the group said in a statement.

"These accounting charges primarily reflect the impact of tighter regulatory requirements, hence the reduction of the value in use of the relevant entities," the statement said.

"They also reflect the present macro-economic and financial environment in the relevant countries and business lines."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130201/credit-agricole-unveils-268-bn-euro-charge