Nara Bancorp Inc. said Friday its net losses had nearly doubled in the fourth quarter, compared with the third quarter, as the company took steps to shore up its balance sheet.

The Los Angeles parent of Nara Bank reported a net loss of $9.9 million (-39 cents per share), compared with net income of $8.3 million (32 cents) a year ago. In the third quarter of 2008, the company reported a $5 million (-19 cents) loss.

Fourth quarter net interest income fell 10 percent to $22.7 million from a year earlier. Non-interest income fell 66 percent to $2.1 million.

"As economic conditions weakened in the fourth quarter, we took aggressive actions to maintain the strength of our balance sheet," Chief Executive Min Kim said in a statement. "We anticipate that the operating environment will continue to be very challenging in 2009, even with the additional economic stimulus being proposed."

In the quarter, the bank accepted $67 million from the U.S. Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program, recognized losses and recorded immediate charge-offs. It also increased its allowance for loan losses to 2.07 percent of total loans.

For all of 2008 net income was $2.8 million (9 cents).

Nara shares closed down $1.07 to $5.91 on the Nasdaq.

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