ABN Amro hit by $2.36 writedown

28 February 2008

Dutch bank ABN Amro has admitted to being forced to make a $2.36 billion writedown in its final results before it is split up.

ABN Amro said the hit came in its global markets business, although its operating profits grew by five per cent thanks to more business in Latin America, Asia and the Netherlands.

The firm said in a statement that its final quarter results were calculated on methods employed by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which is about to take over its wholesale and investment banking arm and its business in Asia.

According to Reuters, despite the writedown caused by floundering credit markets, net profit from operations for the year increased by 18 per cent.

However, earnings per share were disappointing due to the writedown as well as its share in below par Italian bank Antonveneta.

Its acquisition of US bank LaSalle, however, increased profits due to a sound performance.

ABN Amro is about to be split into three under a deal agreed in November, which will see Spain's Santander take over ABN's Italian and Brazilian operations, and Fortis acquiring the Dutch business and wealth and asset management operations.

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