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Greenpeace loses $5.2m in currency bet

An employee of the environmental organization made an unauthorized bet the euro’s value would not rise.

Efrem Lukatsky /Associated Press/File 2013

An employee of the environmental organization made an unauthorized bet the euro’s value would not rise.

NEW YORK — Add Greenpeace International to the ranks of losers in the $5.3 trillion-a-day global foreign exchange market.

The Amsterdam-based nonprofit said it lost $5.2 million last year after an employee bet that the euro would not strengthen against other currencies. The euro rose 4.2 percent against the dollar in 2013.

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Greenpeace, which runs environmental campaigns in more than 40 countries, did not name the employee, who worked in its international finance unit and has been relieved of his position.

‘‘We are obviously very embarrassed and we are apologetic,’’ said Mike Clark, interim executive director of Greenpeace USA. ‘‘Mistakes do happen and we will make sure something like this will not happen again.’’

Greenpeace said it did not find evidence of fraud and will commission an independent audit.

The loss will added to Greenpeace’s 6.8-million-euro 2013 budget deficit.

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