Late yesterday, Fortis Bank SA/NV announced that it will post a net loss of about €6 billion ($7.55 billion) for the fourth quarter of 2008 and a full year loss of approximately €20.1 billion. The €6 billion fourth quarter loss is at least €1 billion greater than initially foreseen due to the recent taking of a non-cash impairment charge on certain deferred tax assets in Fortis Bank based on revised estimations of the future taxable base of the Bank. Fortis Bank reconfirms however, that, despite these losses, Fortis Bank’s Tier 1 ratio at yearend 2008 stands at around 10%.
Separately, various sources have reported that France's BNP Paribas and the Belgian government are discussing "several scenarios" with respect to a revised deal for the pending breakup of certain Fortis’s operations, including the receipt of guarantees from the Belgian government, following a rejection of the breakup by Fortis SA/NV shareholders last month. Last Friday, the parties had agreed to extend talks with respect to the breakup until today.