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BankAmerica Racks Up Russia Losses

BankAmerica Corp. said Friday it has racked up Russia-related losses of $220 million in the third quarter, becoming the second major U.S. bank to take a haircut on its dealings in the beleaguered country.

As a result, the bank's (BAC) Russian exposure has shrunk to $100 million as of Wednesday vs. $412 million on June 30, the San Francisco-based company said.

So far this year, BankAmerica has earned about $315 million in trading income, it said, offsetting the Russian losses. BankAmerica reported net income of $1.725 billion through the first six months of the year and had total assets of $264 billion at June 30.

Concerns about the company's exposure to Russian, along with overall poor market conditions, helped drive the bank's stock down Thursday. Shares fell 3 7/8, or 5 percent, to 73 3/4. It bounced back early Friday, trading up 1 1/4 to 75.

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BankAmerica (BAC)
Republic New York Corp. (RNB)

One day earlier, Republic New York Corp. (RNB) said losses from its Russian investments would erase its third-quarter profits.

Republic, the nation's 18th-largest bank holding company, said it would take a $110 million charge and set aside $45 million more to cover potential defaults of Russia loans.

The news propelled Republic's shares downward. The stock lost 4 5/8 Thursday to 45 1/2. Trading was delayed at the start of Friday morning.

Wall Street analysts say other big U.S. banks will also suffer Russian-related losses, but not as bad as that of Republic.

Written By Jeffry Bartash

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