19 Nov 2011

Greek loans written off by bank

5:22 am on 19 November 2011

Dutch bank ABN Amro has reported a net loss of 54 million euros ($US73 million) in the three months to the end of September due to exposure to Greek corporate loans.

The loss compared with a profit of 341 million euro in the same period last year.

ABN Amro holds around 1.4 billion euros of corporate loans guaranteed by the Greek government and wrote off 500 million euros of that.

The bank pointed out that the loans were to companies and not to the Greek government, but said it had "sufficient indications" they might not be repaid in full.

The bank said its exposure to eurozone government bonds from countries including Italy, Portugal and Belgium made up 0.2% of its total balance sheet.

The bank owns 26.4 billion euros of sovereign debt from eurozone countries in total. More than half of that is from the Netherlands and Germany.

ABN Amro was nationalised by the Dutch government in 2010 after it was unloaded by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

RBS paid 71 billion euros for ABN Amro in 2007. It wrote off £16 billion in bad debt in the same year mainly due to loans made by the Dutch bank.

After nationalisation, the Dutch government split the bank into two divisions.