Commerzbank loses ?716 million in Q4

CEO Blessing says bank has "a long way to go" in restructuring its business

Associated Press

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- Germany's Commerzbank says it's making progress in reshaping its business but still has a long way to go as higher shipping loan losses and low interest rates continue to squeeze profits.

The bank provided detail Friday on its fourth-quarter earnings announced Feb. 4. It lost €716 million largely due to one-time losses of €185 million on its sale of Bank Forum in Ukraine and €560 million in tax accounting charges.

The bank says it made progress in winding down businesses that it's getting rid of, in commercial real estate and shipping finance. Its non-core assets division shrank by €9 billion to €151 billion during the quarter.

But the bank says high loan losses from its remaining ship finance business weighed on earnings. And low rates are hurting interest income.

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