Shares of Nara Bancorp Inc. fell 5.5% early Tuesday, but rebounded to close down 1.24% to $8.73 after the Los Angeles company announced a fourth-quarter loss. It was, however, an 85% narrower loss than posted a year earlier.

The $3.2 billion-asset Nara announced late Monday that it had recorded a loss of $1.5 million, or 4 cents a share, for common shareholders.

Nonperforming assets increased 136 basis points, to 5.34% of loans and foreclosed real estate since the end of September. Nonperforming assets at the end of December 2008 were 2.08% of total loans and foreclosed real estate.

Nara charged off $11.4 million, or 2.08% of loans, during the fourth quarter, compared with 1.11% in the third quarter and 2.37% in the fourth quarter of 2008. The provision for loan losses fell 38% year over year, to $17.8 million.

Nara announced last week that Min Kim had resigned as president, chief executive officer and director to pursue personal interests. Alvin D. Kang, the chief financial officer, was named president and CEO.

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