Pioneer Group Inc. lost $42 million in the quarter that ended Sept. 30 because of a $42.8 million writedown related to the closing of its Ghana gold-mining operation.

Pioneer has had several negative quarters because of losses from overseas investments, such as a Russian timber operation and the gold mine, which the investment management company is in final negotiations to sell.

Pioneer's core business also slipped. Its mutual fund and institutional investment management unit earned $8.9 million in the quarter, off from $9.4 million in the second quarter, reflecting softness in the investment management business.

Though the Pioneer Fund, its biggest, had net inflows of $155 million in the third quarter, its second-largest portfolio, the Pioneer II Fund, had net outflows of $257 million, according to Financial Research Corp., Boston. Pioneer's assets under management in the quarter also fell, to roughly $22.6 billion, from $24.5 billion at midyear. -- Cheryl Winokur

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