FRANKFURT, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Germany's Commerzbank said on Tuesday it would take a 490 million euro ($471 million) hit to its third-quarter operating profit after its Polish mBank unit booked additional provisions for its Swiss franc loans.
The German lender said it nevertheless still expected to reach its net profit target of more than 1 billion euros for the full year.
Frankfurt-listed shares of Commerzbank, which is in the midst of a costly restructuring that involves cutting 10,000 jobs and closing branches, were down 5.5% after the news.
The issue, which has affected banks across Poland, stems from more than a decade ago, when mortgage customers took out loans in Swiss francs to take advantage of low Swiss interest rates, only to face far higher costs when the value of the Polish zloty slumped.
Polish courts have been deciding how the loans can be treated, including what banks can charge in interest for the loans, creating uncertainty for banks and their bottom lines.
"Despite the new burden in Poland, we are maintaining our earnings target for the full year 2022 in view of the strong overall revenue development," said Commerzbank's finance chief Bettina Orlopp.
Commerzbank had attempted to sell mBank but abandoned the effort after an auction petered out in 2020.
Commerzbank in July announced it would also be impacted in the third quarter by a law in Poland that allows mortgage borrowers to skip monthly repayments as many as eight times through the end of 2023.
($1 = 1.0408 euros) (Reporting by Tom Sims and Sabine Wollrab Editing by Mark Potter)
New coronavirus variants across the global could interrupt the progress being made in the battle against the pandemic.
Over the past few weeks, a number of new strains have been found, including in the UK, South Africa and Brazil.
Scientists warn that these new variants could easily reinfect people who have survived COVID-19 because there is possible resistance against antibodies, which evades the immune system response generated by the first infection.
What's more, they caution that the variants could force researchers to update vaccines often to the point that it becomes like the flu with a shot needed every season.
New coronavirus strains may be able to bypass the immune response that COVID-19 survivors have developed and allow for easier reinfection. Pictured: Medical Director of the ICU Dr Thomas Yadegar checks the vital signs of Dr Neil Hecht and his wife Mindy Cross (center) at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center in Tarzana, California, January 3
Vaccines may also have to be updated to target mutations seen on the spike protein, which the virus uses to enter and infect cells. Pictured: A man receives a dose of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination site in the Bronx, New York ,January 10
Dr Nuno Faria, a virologist at Imperial College London and associate professor at the University of Oxford, told that Manaus, Brazil, is a perfect case study of how variants can undo progress.
In December 2020, he co-authored a paper estimating 75 percent of the city's population had been infected with the virus, enough for herd immunity.
However, around the same time, cases of COVID-19 began to rise again and hospital beds were being filled.
'It was hard to reconcile these two things,' Faria told the magazine.
By looking at samples, he
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Of 31 samples collected in mid-December, 13 had the new linage called P.1, and it appeared to circumvent the immune response triggered by virus that had been infecting people earlier in the year.
Of course, P.1 is not the only variant. Several have arisen across the globe, perhaps none more notable than B 1.1.7., first identified in the UK.
B 1.1.7., which is believed to be up to 70 percent more transmissible that other variants, has infected nearly 100 people in 18 U.S. states.
And, last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a
Another variant, called 501Y.V2, was first detected in South Africa has spread to several other nations, but not the U.S.
B 1.1.7., which is believed to be up to 70 percent more transmissible that other variants, has infected nearly 100 people in 18 U.S. states, along with some homegrown variants
One found that the South Africa variant has mutations to the spike protein, which the virus uses to infect human cells, which reduced the potency in convalescent plasma by 10-fold.
Plasma is the liquid portion of blood that is transferred into COVID-19 patients in hopes they will develop antibodies needed to fight off the virus.
The study'a author, Jesse Bloom, an evolutionary biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, did note to Science Magazine that this does necessarily mean people's natural immunity decreased 10-fold if infected with a new mutation.
He adds that the Brazil variant, P.1, is concerning because that mutations are similar and it causing cases to rise in areas believed to have a high immunity threshold.
'Anytime you see the same mutations arising and starting to spread multiple times, in different viral strains across the world, that's really strong evidence that there's some evolutionary advantage to those mutations,' Bloom told Science Magazine.
'I would expect that those viruses have some advantage when a lot of the population has immunity.'
There is currently no evidence that any of the variants are resistant to either Pfizer of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
However, the fact that new mutations keep cropping up is concerning
'The not-so-good news is that the rapid evolution of these variants suggests that if it is possible for the virus to evolve into a vaccine-resistant phenotype, this may happen sooner than we like,' Philip Krause, chair of a WHO working group on COVID-19 vaccines, told Science Magazine.
There is a sense of urgency to vaccinate people as soon as possible to at least deal with the most prevalent strains right now.
If need be, vaccines could be easily be reformulated to respond to different mutations of the spike protein.
This does mean they would likely have to go through more Food and Drug Administration scrutiny before being authorized
'To be clear: These are downstream considerations,' Krause told Science Magazine.
'The public should not think that this is imminent, and that new vaccines will be needed.'
It was recently revealed that she'd signed up for Dancing On Ice, with rehearsals for the ITV show already underway.
And Michelle Heaton took a break from skate training on Friday to perform with her group Liberty X at at Stockton Globe in Teesside.
The singer, 43, showed off her incredible physique in a racy black leotard and fishnet tights as she took to the stage with bandmates Kelli Young and Jessica Taylor.
Smokin': Michelle Heaton took a break from skate training on Friday to perform with her group Liberty X at at Stockton Globe in Teesside
Michelle oozed confidence as she rocked the form-fitting black number which featured a studded pants section and cut-out back.
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She teamed her sizzling ensemble with black calf-high boots and wielded a cane as she performed the band's hit Just A Little.
Her curly brunette locks were swept into a high ponytail for the performance, with the beauty added a glam palette of make-up.
Hot stuff: The singer, 43, showed off her incredible physique in a racy black leotard and fishnet tights as she took to the stage with bandmates Kelli Young and Jessica Taylor
Looking good: Michelle oozed confidence as she rocked the form-fitting black number which featured a studded pants section and cut-out back
Showgirl: The star oozed confidence as she took to the stage in Teeside
Trio: Michelle (centre) performed on stage alongside Kelli (L) and Jessica (R)
Michelle looked full of energy for her routine, despite having taken part in her first Dancing On Ice training session in Alexandra Palace on Wednesday.
It was announced on Monday that the TV personality was the 10th celebrity to sign up for the upcoming series of Dancing On Ice.
The singer confirmed the exciting news on Monday's Lorraine as she told the presenter she 'never' could have competed in previous years due to damage caused to her body by alcoholism.
Living her best life: The singer was full of energy as she belted out her hits for fans
Racy: She teamed her sizzling ensemble with black calf-high boots and wielded a cane as she performed the band's hit Just A Little
Bold look: The star looked in her element as she joined her pals on stage
Day job: The mother-of-two looked very much at home on stage
Gorgeous: All three ladies looked incredible in their skimpy outfits
She said: 'I'm so excited, I can't believe it.
Me and the kids are huge fans and we watch every series.
'I would never have been able to compete because of the way my body is and I'm so grateful I got this this year so I can do it properly.
'I have no idea what I'm doing.
I'm not a skater. I've been on the ice a few times to audition. I get my skates tomorrow.'
Amazing: Michelle flaunted her gym-honed physique in the stage outfit
Lovely: Her curly brunette locks were swept into a high ponytail for the performance, with the beauty added a glam palette of make-up
Hey there: She was seen smiling out to the crowd amid the concert
Here comes the girls: Kelli, Michelle and Jessica looked chuffed as they sang along together
Home time: The beauty covered up in a black padded coat following the performance
'Jessica [Taylor] was fantastic from Liberty X.
I told the girls a few weeks ago and she said to enjoy it and be me.
'We have quite a few gigs coming up and balancing everything with the show, panto and performing.
'18 months sober. I was here 16 months ago telling my story and I feel so lucky. The colours came back to me.
Back on screens: It was announced on Monday that the TV personality was the 10th celebrity to sign up for the upcoming series of Dancing On Ice
Happy: The singer confirmed the exciting news on Monday's Lorraine as she told the presenter she 'never' could have competed in previous years due to damage caused to her body by alcoholism
'My kids are buzzing, my one said I'm proud of you mummy and it shows strength from where I was to where I am now. It is possible. just one day at a time is how I take it.
'I'm really looking forward to it, I live near the studios and I'm looking forward to finding out who my pro is we find out in a few weeks.
'I told the kids to wear T-shirts, they're coming every week and they're great ages to be a part of it.
Strong: Michelle told Lorraine: '18 months sober.
I was here 16 months ago telling my story and I feel so lucky. The colours came back to me'