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Insurance giant Allianz posts big loss

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Insurance giant Allianz posts big loss
11:04 CET+01:00
German insurance giant Allianz has reported a net loss of €2.02 billion for the third quarter, saying it has taken a big hit from the turmoil in financial markets and its Dresdner Bank arm.

The Munich-based company which is Europe's largest insurer announced the loss late on Friday and scaled back its operating profit forecasts for this year and the next as a result.

The loss however was lower than the €3.61 billion figure that many analysts had feared. Allianz posted a profit of €1.9 billion in the same period last year.

"Without a major equity market recovery, the operating profit outlook of 9 billion euros before banking for this year and next year cannot be reached," Allianz Chief Financial Officer Helmut Perlet said in a statement. "In this environment, reliable statements about future earnings are not possible," he added, referring to the ongoing financial crisis which has battered financial institutions around the globe.

The insurer has also been pummelled by the weak performance of its Dresdner bank which is being sold to Germany's second largest lender, Commerzbank next year.

Allianz said the Frankfurt-based Dresdner Bank, which it counted as a discontinued operation since September 1st, posted its fifth straight loss in the latest quarter as it "continued to suffer from weak and volatile markets.''

Dresdner had an operating loss of €835 million in the third quarter compared with an operating profit of €87 million a year earlier, Allianz said.

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