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Agricultural cooperative credit federations (“shinren”) in 46 prefectures across the nation posted combined net losses of 54.9 billion yen in fiscal 2001, Norinchukin Bank said Thursday.

It is the first time in six years the prefectural federations have fallen into the red on a combined basis.

The federations also posted combined pretax losses of 7.5 billion yen. For the current fiscal year, however, they forecast profits of 50 billion yen.

Behind the red ink were moves by the federations to accelerate bad-loan disposals ahead of the April 1 abolition of the government’s full protection of time deposits, Norinchukin said.

Sixteen federations, including one in Fukuoka Prefecture, reported net losses, compared with four the previous year. The Fukuoka federation was hit particularly hard by valuation losses on its Argentine government bond holdings.

The federations’ capital adequacy ratios averaged 14.5 percent as of the end of the fiscal year, up 0.2 percentage point from a year earlier.

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