NETHERLANDS - Dutch life insurance, pensions and investments giant Aegon today revealed the firm lost €1.2bn in Q4 2008 and is now planning redundancies.

The company will also scale back its institutional markets operations in the US to save further costs, but plans to restructure in the UK and the Netherlands.

Aegon, which expects to free up €1.5bn in costs in 2009, received €1.7bn in additional capital last year, most of which was generated in the fourth quarter alone, alongside an additional €3bn from the Dutch State.

When presenting its preliminary results for the last three montsh of 2008, Aegon stressed it still had a surplus over €9bn in core capital at the end of December.

Aegon had already announced in November last year it had seen a drop in its overall revenue-generating investments at the end of September, and reported a net loss for the third quarter. (See earlier IPE story: Aegon sees Dutch and UK pension losses in Q3)

Subsequent to Aegon's third quarter results report, the Dutch ministry of finance announced Arthur Docters van Leeuwen, current chairman of the Holland Financial Centre and former chairman of the of the financial markets watchdog AFM, and Karla Peijs, Aegon board member, will become representatives at Aegon for the Dutch government.

The group said at the time its underlying earnings in the Netherlands were down 31% to €74m as a charge to meet guaranteed returns on certain group pension contracts and the cost of modifying unit-linked insurance products had offset higher investment income during the quarter.

Complete fourth quarter and full-year results will be published, as scheduled, on March 12.

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