Swedbank posts Q4 op loss but says 2010 profit feasible

STOCKHOLM Tue Feb 9, 2010 1:11am EST

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STOCKHOLM Feb 9 (Reuters) - Banking group Swedbank (SWEDa.ST) posted a fourth-quarter operating loss that was bigger than market expectations on Tuesday but said a profit for the full year in 2010 was "feasible".

The operating loss was 1.67 billion Swedish crowns ($224.3 million), against a forecast for a loss of 1.35 billion crowns seen in a Reuters poll of analysts. That compared with a 2.4 billion crown profit a year ago.

Loan losses -- which include provisions for the possible future non-payment of loans -- were 5.0 billion crowns. That was smaller than expectations and compared with a loss of 6.1 billion in the third quarter.

The bank has suffered an operating loss for four straight quarters, hurt by deep recession in the Baltic region where it is heavily exposed.

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