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HypoVereinsbank Reports Losses

HypoVereinsbank (HVB), Germany's second largest bank, reported Thursday a loss of €2.64 billion ($3.22 billion) in 2003, three times greater than the losses from the year before, and said it will need to raise €3 billion ($3.73 billion) to replenish the lost capital. Munich-based HVB said it would have to forego a dividend to shareholders as a result of the losses, the second year in which it has done so. The 2003 loss, due largely to write-offs for the fallen value of stakes in companies such as reinsurer Munich Re and the insurance group Allianz, comes on the tails of a loss of €858 million ($1.06 billion) in 2002. The 2003 report sent HVB shares tumbling. Despite the poor performance, HVB said its operations were in the process of turning around. The bank reported an operating profit in the fourth quarter of last year of €463 million ($573 million), the second highest in the company's history.