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Credit Agricole Posts Steep Loss

Credit Agricole posted a 6.5 billion-euro ($8.68 billion) full-year loss - the worst since the French bank went public in 2001 - as taxes on the sale of its Greek unit pushed the bank even deeper into the red than expected.

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Bank executives told reporters an unexpected decision by French tax authorities to disallow a tax deduction the bank was seeking for the sale of Emporiki Bank triggered an 838 million-euro tax hit, pushing fourth-quarter writedowns to 4.53 billion.

"The government told us very recently - (Monday) to tell the truth - that we could no longer deduct taxes from these losses," Chief Financial Officer Bernard Delpit said on a conference call.

The tax expense, on top of previous writedowns mostly related to the impact of a worsening economic outlook on goodwill, pushed the bank's quarterly loss to 3.982 billion euros.

(Read More: Credit Agricole Hit by 3.8 Billion Euros in Charges)

Credit Agricole said on Wednesday its "normalized" profit excluding one-off items rose 10 percent from a year ago to 548 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had forecast net income of 402 million euros on average, but it was unclear whether their forecasts stripped out the same elements as the bank's normalized figure.

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