Kookmin announces fourth-quarter loss

Korea's biggest bank suffers its first quarterly loss in four years as bad loans surge.

Kookmin Bank reported a loss yesterday of W318.5 billion $229 million for the quarter ending December 2008, due to worsening bad loan charges. It was the first quarterly deficit posted by Korea's biggest lender, a unit of KB Financial Group, since the fourth quarter of 2004. The loss compares with a net profit of W580.1 billion for the same period in 2007.

Kookmin was forced to make additional provisions for losses on loans made to Korean manufacturers. KB Financial set...

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