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Commerzbank Records Losses

Commerzbank announced pre-tax losses of €372 million ($405 million) on Wednesday, its first losses in 20 years. For the first three quarters of 2002, the bank showed gains of €43 million. However, fourth-quarter losses alone amounted to €417 million.

CEO Klaus-Peter Müller attributed the poor results to expenses resulting from layoffs and losses in share holdings and bonds. Commerzbank stock fell 3.3 percentage points, to €6.38, after the numbers were realeased. In 2001, the bank recorded a €43 million profit.

For the second time in a year, Commerzbank’s results were leaked before the bank officially published them. The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) announced it would investigate whether the bank had violated the obligation to notify the stock market when it discovered its results would differ greatly from its forecasts. Commerzbank could be fined up to €1.5 million for violating its responsibility.