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IrishLife tumbles after third quarter stats reveal rising bad loan provisions

BANCASSURER Irish Life &amp; Permanent saw its shares fall by as much as 15 per cent in morning trading yesterday as it revealed rising impairments in its loan book.<br /><br />In a statement described by analysts as &ldquo;very weak&rdquo;, the company said total bad debt provisions for the three years to 2011 had risen from &euro;700m (&pound;619m) to &euro;800-900m. Irish Life saw fluctuations in the value of its life business investments and write-downs to its commercial property portfolio.<br /><br />Life sales for 2009 are expected to be 35 per cent down year-on-year while new loan advances in the bank&rsquo;s consumer finance division will be 80 per cent lower.<br /><br />Oliver Gilvarry, analyst at Dolmen Stockbrokers, said: &ldquo;This is a very weak set of results which shows how trouble in the Irish economy has fed through into the life business.&rdquo; <br /><br />Traders drew some comfort from Irish Life&rsquo;s reduced reliance on ECB funding, down to &euro;7bn from &euro;12bn at the end of June, and a 20 per cent increase in retail deposits. Its shares closed 12.4 per cent down at &euro;3.90.<br />