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MILAN, March 12 (Reuters) - Italy's biggest retail bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, posted an 83 million euro fourth-quarter loss on Tuesday due to higher loan loss provisions and a writedown on the value of an investment in Telecom Italia.
Like other Italian lenders, Intesa is having to set aside more cash to cover for rising bad loans as the euro zone's third-largest economy battles through a painful recession.
The full-year net profit came in at 1.6 billion euros against a net loss of 8.2 billion euros for 2011, when the bank wrote down billions of euros of goodwill form past deals to repait a balance sheet damaged by the euro zone debt crisis.
A poll of six analyst estimates compiled by Reuters had forecast on average a fourth-quarter loss of 169 million euros. (Reporting By Silvia Aloisi; Editing by Lisa Jucca)