Nigeria's Bank PHB posts 439 bln naira pre-tax loss

LAGOS Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:17am EST

LAGOS Dec 11 (Reuters) - Nigeria's Bank PHB BPHB.LG on Friday posted a 439 billion naira ($2.9 bln) group pre-tax loss for the 15 months to the end of September, hit by high provisions after a sector-wide audit by the central bank.

Bank PHB said provisions for risk assets, loan losses and goodwill impairment totalled around 370 billion naira, while exceptional items were 80.7 billion naira.

The group's financial year used to end in June but it is shifting to the calendar year in line with a central bank directive to establish a uniform reporting period across the banking sector. (For more Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: af.reuters.com/ ) (Reporting by Oludare Mayowa; Writing by Nick Tattersall)