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Dec 9, 2011

Moody’s cuts top French banks’ ratings

PARIS (Reuters) – Rating agency Moody’s has downgraded the debt of France’s three largest banks, citing deteriorating liquidity, a day after the European Central Bank offered banks funding for three years for the first time ever.

The downgrade comes at a sensitive time for the banks, which have seen their shares pummelled because of their large balance sheets and reliance on short-term dollar funding as the euro zone debt crisis spread.

Dec 9, 2011

Moody’s cuts three French banks

PARIS (Reuters) – Ratings agency Moody’s downgraded the debt of BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Societe Generale (SOGN.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), and Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Friday, citing deteriorating liquidity and funding conditions.

Moody’s cut its ratings on the long-term debt of BNP and Credit Agricole by one notch to Aa3, concluding reviews that began in June and were continued in September. Societe Generale’s long-term debt was cut by one notch to A1.

Dec 9, 2011

Moody’s cuts three French banks, cites liquidity, funding

PARIS, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Ratings agency Moody’s
downgraded the debt of BNP Paribas, Societe Generale
, and Credit Agricole on Friday, citing
deteriorating liquidity and funding conditions.

Moody’s cut its ratings on the long-term debt of BNP and
Credit Agricole by one notch to Aa3, concluding reviews that
began in June and were continued in September. Societe
Generale’s long-term debt was cut by one notch to A1.

Dec 8, 2011

BNP names Belgian Fortis veteran as CFO

PARIS, Dec 8 (Reuters) – French bank BNP Paribas
named a Flemish veteran of Belgium’s 2008 banking
crisis as its finance chief on Thursday, the latest move to
strengthen its management in the face of new dangers now facing
Europe’s financial industry.

Lars Machenil, who holds a doctorate in nuclear science and
has been with BNP’s Belgian unit Fortis for 11 years, will
succeed Philippe Bordenave as CFO in March, BNP said on
Thursday. Bordenave was last week named group chief operating
officer of France’s biggest bank.

Nov 17, 2011

Terra Firma’s Hands says good deals tough to find

PARIS (Reuters) – Terra Firma Capital Partners still has 1.1 billion euros ($1.5 billion) to invest that it is finding hard — although not impossible — to put to work, its founder Guy Hands said in an interview on Wednesday.

Hands, who is perhaps best known for the collapsed buyout of music group EMI, also spoke enthusiastically about potential European bargains that he said could become available starting in 2013.

Nov 8, 2011

Capgemini confirms 2011 goals

PARIS, Nov 8 (Reuters) – Information technology services
provider Capgemini
on Tuesday confirmed its targets for 2011 as quarterly sales
growth slowed from earlier in the year.

Capgemini, whose shares have lost 24 percent so far this
year on concern about a squeeze on the company’s margins,
confirmed earlier forecasts of 9 to 10 percent growth in
revenues on a reported basis this year, and at least 5 percent
on a like-for-like basis.

Oct 28, 2011

Trilantic, Sagard vie for Sara Lee French unit-source

PARIS, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Sara Lee Corp’s auction
for its French baked goods unit has moved into the home stretch
with private equity firms Trilantic Capital Partners and Sagard
seen likely to post final offers, sources familiar with the
situation said on Friday.

Sara Lee is selling the unit, which various sources valued
at between 100 and 150 million euros ($212 million), as part of
a broader effort to divest its international bakery units. They
include its fresh bakery business in Spain and Portugal,
acquired by Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo earlier this month.

Oct 27, 2011

Areva 9-month revenues fall 3.5 pct

PARIS, Oct 27 (Reuters) – French nuclear group Areva
posted a 3.5 percent decline in nine-month sales on
Thursday, squeezed by weakness in its uranium mining and
waste-processing businesses.

Revenues reached 5.95 billion euros ($8.4 billion) and were
down 1.5 percent on a like-for-like basis, state-owned Areva
said in a statement.

Oct 25, 2011

Groupama fires CEO, says solvency priority

Oct 25 (Reuters) – French mutual insurer Groupama
[GRPMHA.UL] said on Tuesday its long-standing chief executive
had been fired and will be replaced by new management that
would seek to boost its financial strength.

The dismissal of Jean Azema, 58, who has run the closely
held insurer for more than 11 years, comes after two separate
rating agencies downgraded Groupama last month.

Oct 8, 2011

France, Belgium set to finalise Dexia break-up

BRUSSELS, Oct 9 (Reuters) – France and Belgium were set
finalise the break-up on Sunday of Dexia , the first
bank to fall victim to the euro zone sovereign debt crisis, with
global credit risk exposure of 512 billion euros ($691 billion).

Dexia, whose board was also due to meet on Sunday, was
forced to seek government help this week after a liquidity
crunch hobbled the lender and sent its shares into a tailspin.

    • About Christian

      "New York-based editor in charge of banks, exchanges, insurers, asset managers and hedge funds coverage as well as separate team that reports on mergers and acquisitions. Previously led aerospace and defense team, also in New York. Was initially hired by Reuters in Milan, where I covered banks and insurers. Before that I was at Bloomberg for 8 years, including a 3 year stint in Sao Paulo."
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