FleetBoston

(FBF)

lost $507 million, or 49 cents a share, in the fourth quarter on big charges related to Argentina and its investment and loan portfolio.

The bank recorded a charge of $1.19 billion, or $1.14 a share, in the quarter, including $650 million for investments and bad loans and another $538 million related to the devaluation of Argentina's currency. It earned $894 million, or 81 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

The earnings release was delayed in mid-January when the company said it needed to reassess the impact of Argentina's devaluation on its bottom line. Previously the company had said it expected to earn 3 cents a share.

Fleet said its capital markets group lost $233 million in the fourth quarter, compared with a profit of $541 million a year ago, while net interest income was $1.74 billion, down from $1.92 billion.