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GREECE

BNP Paribas profits hit by Greek woes

French banking giant BNP Paribas reported Tuesday a second quarter net profit up 1.1 percent at €2.12 billion, short of analyst forecasts as it set aside €534 million to cover its Greek exposure.

Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a net profit of €2.21 billion ($3.14 billion) in the three months to June.

BNP Paribas said its net profit for the first six months of 2011 was up 8.1 percent from a year earlier to €4.74 billion.

It said it held €2.3 billion of Greek government debt maturing by 2020.

The recently agreed second bailout for Athens involving private sector creditors estimates they will lose 21 percent on such holdings and the second quarter provision covers this eventuality, it said in a statement.

The bank said total second quarter provisions came to €1.35 billion.

In a difficult market, all operating sectors improved their performance compared with last year, it said.

They all contributed to “keeping profits high despite the negative impact” of the Greek debt bailout costs, it added.

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SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE

France’s Societe Generale to cut 1,500 jobs: report

French banking group Societe Generale is planning to cut 1,500 positions in its BFI corporate and investment banking arm, Le Figaro newspaper reported on Saturday.

France's Societe Generale to cut 1,500 jobs: report
Societe Generale CEO Frederic Oudea at the Climate Finance Day and Global Roundtable in Paris on November 26, 2018. Photo: ERIC PIERMONT / AFP
Citing internal bank documents, the paper said the bank was looking at two scenarios, both of which envisage 1,500 job cuts worldwide, with around 700 of them in France.
 
The company said in a statement on Saturday it was still reviewing activities in its corporate and investor client business so it was not possible to comment on the impact on jobs.
 
“We have an ongoing dialogue with our unions and will consult them on our projects and their impact as soon as the review is completed in the coming weeks,” the bank said.
 
French CGT union representative Philippe Fournil could not confirm the information, but said the bank's management had on Thursday indicated it was still reviewing activities within that business.