Fortis Bank to report 2008 loss up to 19 bln euros

BRUSSELS, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Fortis Bank, principally owned by the Belgian state, said on Thursday it made a 14.1 billion euro ($18.30 billion) net loss in the first nine months of 2008 and expected a further 4 to 5 billion euro loss in the final quarter.

The company, formed from the carve-up of listed Fortis FOR.BRFOR.AS by the Belgian, Dutch and Luxembourg governments at the end of October, said it made an underlying profit of 1.2 billion euros in the first nine months.

However, a net loss resulted due to a 12.5 billion euro hit linked to the divestment of ABN AMRO and the carve-up transactions and 3.6 billion euros from the deterioration of its credit portfolio.

The bank said it expected its tier one ratio to be around 10 percent at the end of 2008. Fortis Bank is 99.93 percent in the hands of the Belgian state, with Luxembourg owning 49.9 percent of BGL, the Luxembourg subsidiary.

The Netherlands separately owns the Dutch activities of Fortis following the October break-up transactions.

However, these deals and a planned sale of Fortis assets to France's BNP Paribas BNPP.PA have been frozen by a Brussels court, which ruled that the listed Fortis's shareholders must be given a say.

The listed Fortis is a separate company holding Belgian and international insurance activities. (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by David Cowell)