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Norinchukin Bank said Wednesday it plunged into the red in fiscal 2008 with a record-setting group net loss of ¥572.10 billion after taking hefty losses on securities investments from the global financial crisis.

Norinchukin, the de facto central bank for agricultural cooperatives, said the loss was its first in 13 years. The bank logged a profit of ¥276.88 billion the previous year.

For the year that ended March 31, the bank also incurred a group pretax loss of ¥616.66 billion, compared with a ¥363.20 billion profit the previous year, on a 45.9 percent plunge in revenue to ¥1.43 trillion.

One major factor behind the disastrous performance was the ¥600 billion or so in losses it suffered on a parent company basis when stocks and risky financial products in its investment portfolio tanked after the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States triggered the global credit crunch.

The bank’s unrealized loss on equities swelled to ¥2.09 trillion, compared with about ¥1.57 trillion at the end of September.

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