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CaixaBank Net Misses Estimates after Charge for YPF Seizure

CaixaBank SA, Spain’s third-largest lender and biggest shareholder in Repsol SA, said fourth-quarter profit fell, missing estimates, after it took a charge linked to the seizure of the oil company’s Argentine unit.

The bank said net income dropped to 45 million euros ($61 million) from 57 million euros in the same quarter a year earlier, falling short of the average 84 million-euro estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

The Argentine government took control of Repsol’s operation in the country in 2012, prompting the oil company to remove the YPF suffix from its name. Repsol agreed in November to negotiate a compensation deal with Argentina after an outline agreement was reached. The company hasn’t yet written down the value of its operation in the country.

CaixaBank took a charge of 184 million euros in anticipation of the outcome of the compensation talks, the lender said in a statement today. The bank, which has a 13 percent stake in the Spanish oil company, said the figure was an estimate and doesn’t prejudice the outcome of the talks, which are continuing.

Even as CaixaBank’s earnings fell from a year ago and the previous quarter, net interest income -- the main gauge of a bank’s lending business -- rose to 1.02 billion euros in the fourth quarter from 977 million euros in the previous three months. Defaults continued to rise as the bad loan ratio rose to 11.66 percent from 11.4 percent in September. Core capital under the Basel II rules, rose to 12.9 percent from 12.5 percent.

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