BNP Paribas Second-Quarter Profit Falls But Beats Forecasts -- Update

By Matthew Dalton and Noemie Bisserbe Features Dow Jones Newswires

French bank BNP Paribas SA (BNP.FR) reported better-than-expected net profit for the second quarter, aided by strong results at its corporate and investment-banking division.

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The Paris-based lender, France's largest listed bank by assets, said Friday that net profit fell 6.4% to 2.4 billion euros ($2.80 billion) from EUR2.56 billion a year earlier. That beat analysts' expectations for profit of EUR1.94 billion, according to a poll by data provider FactSet.

Revenue declined 3.4% to EUR10.94 billion. Excluding a one-time capital gain of EUR597 million in the quarter a year ago, revenue in the second quarter rose 2.5%. That gain came from the sale of shares BNP owned in Visa Europe.

BNP Paribas's second-quarter earnings highlight an economic pickup in Europe that boosted business at several of the bank's divisions.

BNP's corporate and investment-bank pretax income surged 48.7% in the latest quarter to EUR3.2 billion. Revenue from trading of bonds and other fixed-income products fell 16%, hit by a slowdown in the business that has swept across European and U.S. banking. But the decline was offset by gains in corporate-banking business, such as trade finance and cash management.

The bank's international financial-services division, which includes retail banks outside the eurozone, wealth management, consumer finance and insurance, posted a 11.3% increase in pretax income to EUR1.41 billion.

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Pretax profit for BNP's retail banks in France, Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg fell 0.2% to EUR1.05 billion, hurt by continued low interest rates in Europe. Still, BNP reported strong loan growth in France, Italy and Belgium.

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 11.7% in June from 11.6% in March.

BNP Paribas is the first major French bank to report second-quarter earnings. Societe Generale SA (GLE.FR) is set to report results on Aug. 2 and Credit Agricole SA (ACA.FR) will publish its earnings on Aug. 3.

Write to Matthew Dalton at matthew.dalton@wsj.com and Noemie Bisserbe at Noemie.Bisserbe@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 28, 2017 02:19 ET (06:19 GMT)