Societe Generale swings to loss in 4th quarter

French bank Societe Generale loses $640 million in 4th quarter on continued restructuring

Associated Press

PARIS (AP) -- Societe Generale says swung into a loss in the fourth quarter as the cost of off-loading poorly performing loans and reversing costly foreign expansion hammered earnings.

The French bank says it lost €476 million ($640 million) in the October-December period, on revenue that slumped nearly 15 percent to €5.13 billion. That's compared to a €100 million profit in the same period a year earlier.

The Paris-based bank says it's now completed the program of loan sales and asset disposals, including Greek bank Geniki and money manager TCW in the United States, that it began in June 2011. Societe Generale's 2012 net profit plunged 67.5 percent after the bank took a total of €2.59 billion in charges and other losses stemming from its balance sheet cleanup and Greek government bonds.

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