Page last updated at 10:35 GMT, Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Commerzbank warns of tough 2010

Commerzbank branch
Commerzbank continues to be hit by bad debts

Commerzbank has warned that 2010 could be another difficult year after it reported a bigger-than-expected loss for the final quarter of last year.

Germany's second-largest bank reported a net loss of 1.86bn euros ($2.54bn; £1.64bn) for the quarter, and a loss for 2009 overall of 4.54bn euros.

It blamed the latest loss on further bad debt write-downs and weak trading.

The bank said it would only return to profitability in 2010 if market conditions were "very positive".

Crisis 'not over'

Commerzbank chairman Martin Blessing said the bank's latest results were "not satisfying".

"The result reflects the effects of the ongoing economic and financial market crisis - and the crisis is not yet over, although the start of 2010 has been promising with respect to our operating performance," he said.

The bank predicts that it will return to profit in 2011 if it fails to do so this year.

In January last year, the bank needed 18.2bn euros of state aid from the German government, which, as a result, took a 25% stake in the company.

Shares in Commerzbank were down 4.6%, or 0.28 cents, to 5.75 euros in morning trading in Frankfurt.



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