UPDATE 1-Cyprus Popular net loss widens on Greek writedown

Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:57pm EST

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NICOSIA Nov 28 (Reuters) - Cyprus Popular Bank, nationalised earlier this year, said its nine-month net loss widened to 1.09 billion euros ($1.4 billion) after taking a hit from a Greek debt writedown and higher provisions.

The government rescued Popular, Cyprus's second-largest bank, in June after its regulatory capital took a severe hit from its heavy exposure to Greek sovereign debt restructured earlier in the year. The state now owns an estimated 84 percent of Popular.

Aid to Popular, and subsequent financial help sought by the Bank of Cyprus forced the country to seek a bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

Popular said that including a goodwill and other intangible asset impairments of 580 million euros, losses attributable to shareholders totalled 1.67 billion euros.

Reflecting recessions in Greece and Cyprus, Popular more than quadrupled its loan loss provisions to 1.28 billion euros on an annualised basis, and increased them by 48 percent on a quarterly basis.

The bank posted a net loss of 292 million euros in the same nine-month period of 2011.

($1 = 0.7746 euros) (Reporting By Michele Kambas; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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