BNP Paribas Reports Better-Than-Expected 1st-Quarter Net Profit -- Update

By Noemie Bisserbe Features Dow Jones Newswires

French bank BNP Paribas SA (BNP.FR) reported a better-than-expected net profit for the first quarter, aided by a rebound in bond trading.

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The Paris-based lender, France's largest listed bank by assets, said Wednesday net profit rose 4% to 1.89 billion euros ($2.06 billion) from EUR1.81 billion a year earlier. That beat analysts' expectations for a profit of EUR1.54 billion, according to a poll by data provider FactSet.

Revenue rose 4% to EUR11.3 billion.

Like other U.S. and European lenders, BNP Paribas benefited from a bond-trading boom, despite the Trump administration's failure so far to deliver on promises to overhaul the tax code and loosen financial regulations.

BNP Paribas's corporate and investment-bank pretax income nearly doubled in the latest quarter to EUR778 million, bolstered by its fixed-income platform.

The bank's international financial-services division, which includes retail banks outside the eurozone, wealth management, consumer finance and insurance, posted a 16% jump in pretax income to EUR1.22 billion.

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However, pretax profit for BNP's retail banks in France, Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg fell 0.5% to EUR705 million, hurt by persistently low interest rates.

The bank's core Tier 1 ratio, which measures its top quality capital such as equity and retained earnings against risk-weighted assets, rose to 11.6% in March from 11.5% in December, mainly because of the sale of its stake in First Hawaiian Bank.

BNP Paribas is the first major French bank to report first-quarter earnings. Societe Generale SA (GLE.FR) is set to report results Thursday and Credit Agricole SA (ACA.FR) will report on May 11.

Write to Noemie Bisserbe at noemie.bisserbe@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 03, 2017 01:36 ET (05:36 GMT)