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SAO PAULO, Feb 18 (Reuters) - BM&FBovespa SA, Brazil's sole financial exchange, on Thursday posted an unexpected fourth-quarter loss after writing down the value of assets stemming from the acquisition that created the company eight years ago.
São Paulo-based BM&FBovespa lost a net 407.5 million reais ($101 million) last quarter, compared with net income of 2.01 billion reais in the prior quarter, according to a statement. Analysts in a Reuters poll predicted net income of 564.6 million reais in the period.
The loss - the first in at least six years - came as a surprise as no analyst in the poll predicted the company to sharply slash the value of so-called intangible assets. The asset impairment stemmed from BM&FBovespa's decision to lower profitability projections stemming from BM&F SA's acquisition of Bovespa Holding SA in 2008.
Management led by Chief Executive Officer Edemir Pinto will discuss results at a Friday event in São Paulo.
Excluding the impact of the asset impairment, revenue missed expectations after income from equities and derivatives trading faltered during the quarter. Expenses plummeted while investment income soared amid Brazil's double-digit interest rates, helping offset the quarterly loss.
Net revenue slipped 9.2 percent, more than the poll expected, after proceeds from derivatives trading slumped almost 16 percent on a quarterly basis. Expenses fell 2 percent, less than the 3 percent that analysts in the poll expected.
The statement did not bring in any new information about BM&FBovespa's unsolicited proposal to acquire rival clearinghouse Cetip SA Mercados Organizados, as investors focus on the benefits and ills of their potential combination.
Since Cetip's board shunned an offer of 39 reais a share from BM&FBovespa in December, hopes of a sweetened proposal have escalated. A source with direct knowledge of the deal said that BM&FBovespa was leaning toward raising the Cetip bid, and that the release of a sweetened offer may be imminent.
$1 = 4.0268 Brazilian reais Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Alan Crosby and Chris Reese