Credit Agricole swings to Q4 net loss

PARIS Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:12am EST

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PARIS Feb 24 (Reuters) - French bank Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA) on Thursday said it swung to a net loss in the fourth quarter, hit by a well-flagged 1.25 billion-euro ($1.72 billion) write-down on its stake in Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MI).

The bank is trying to return to its agricultural domestic roots under new management after an ill-fated bid to become a major global player was cut short by the financial crisis.

Credit Agricole posted a fourth-quarter loss of 328 million euros, slightly better than analyst forecasts of 402 million, according to a Reuters poll of 10 analysts. A year earlier Credit Agricole had posted a profit of 433 million.

The group plans to propose a dividend of 0.45 euros a share, flat year-on-year. It also said it would not need to raise capital to meet incoming Basel III rules. ($1=.7272 Euro) (Reporting by Lionel Laurent; Editing by James Regan)

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