Lender records €10bn loss as its asset values go into freefall

UNICREDIT plunged back into the red yesterday with a stunning net loss of €10.64bn (£9.1bn) on the back of huge write-downs to its asset pile.

Markets, which had been expecting a profitable quarter, ditched the stock, which fell 6.2 per cent by the close of play. The bank also confirmed plans for a €7.5bn rights issue.

The bank announced that it is likely to cut some 6,000 jobs, 3.7 per cent of its global workforce, by 2015. Some 150 of those will be lost in its City brokerage, which the bank will outsource.

The huge quarterly loss came on the back of an €8.67bn impairment on the value of its assets, compared to no reported change in their value during the same period last year.

As City A.M. has reported, Italian and Spanish banks are currently marketing billions in real estate portfolios that market participants say have not been written down by nearly enough.

Even without the write-down, however, the bank reported a quarterly pre-tax loss of €1.05bn.

The bank had appeared to be on a recovery path, booking pre-tax profits for the past six quarters, but it broke the streak in the third quarter.