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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