Belgian insurance firm Ageas has reported a net loss of EUR44.5m for the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to EUR422.5m for the same period in 2010.

The company took a EUR99m goodwill impairment on a Hong Kong unit in the fourth quarter of 2011 because of the impact low interest rates are having on the business’s activity.

The loss from insurance operations was EUR104.4m in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to EUR57.6m for the same period a year earlier.

Ageas CEO Bart De Smet said that 2011 has been marked by a tough financial environment and the company’s results were severely impacted by impairment charges on Greek sovereigns, equities and on goodwill related to the Hong Kong activity.

"In Non-Life, our UK activities reported impressive growth and our operational results showed good improvement, in particular in the UK," Smet said.