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Oct 7, 2011

Dexia board set to meet as break-up looms

PARIS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – France and Belgium are expected to finalize plans this weekend to break up Dexia (DEXI.BR: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which helps finance hundreds of towns in both countries and became the first European bank to fall victim to the euro zone crisis.

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

Sep 26, 2011

France seen moving towards bank bailout

PARIS (Reuters) – Investors and analysts who think a government bailout for the troubled French banking sector is increasingly likely are focusing on what form any aid could take, even as banks continue to deny they need state help.

The possibility of a bailout jumped from speculation to something much more concrete at the weekend after Bank of France Chairman Christian Noyer said in an interview that a support mechanism set up in 2008 could be used to shore up banks’ capital in case of an “extraordinary event.”

Sep 23, 2011

AXA exploring private equity unit sale: sources

PARIS (Reuters) – French insurer AXA (AXAF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is exploring a sale of its private equity unit and has hired Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to handle it, sources familiar with the situation said on Friday.

The possible sale comes as European insurers prepare to meet stiff new capital requirements under Solvency II industry regulations and after some of AXA’s key holdings have suffered in the recent market rout.

Sep 23, 2011

AXA private equity unit sale being explored-sources

PARIS, Sept 23 (Reuters) – French insurer AXA (AXAF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) is
exploring a possible sale of its private equity unit and has
hired Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) to handle it, sources familiar
with the situation said on Friday.

“It’s just gotten underway,” one of the sources said of the
auction, while another called the sale an option being explored
that would not definitively happen.

Aug 19, 2011

European bank stocks swoon to 29-month low

PARIS, Aug 19 (Reuters) – European banking shares swooned to
their lowest level in nearly 29 months on Friday, led by Italy’s
Intesa SanPaolo on concern about the lenders’ ability
to fund themselves amid a worsening economic slowdown.

Intesa tumbled 6 percent, while Raiffeisen Bank
dropped 5 percent and Societe Generale and UniCredit
— among top decliners in recent sessions — also
sank, down 3.3 percent and 4.2 percent respectively.

Aug 10, 2011

Perfect rumour storm sends SocGen stock plunging

PARIS (Reuters) – Shares of Societe Generale plunged as much as 23 percent amid a whirlwind of rumours questioning its financial solidity, before closing 15 percent lower after the French bank denied all speculation about its health.

Rumours of a downgrade of French sovereign debt, an expanded bailout for Greece that would hurt French banks and a government bailout of SocGen due to liquidity problems — all denied — pulled shares of France’s second-largest bank down in the heaviest volume since the 2008 financial crisis.

Aug 10, 2011

SocGen shares plunge 21 percent on rumor whirlwind

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) – Shares in French bank Societe Generale (SOGN.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) fell more than 21 percent on a whirlwind of market rumors, before a spokeswoman categorically denied all rumors relating to the bank’s financial solidity.

“SocGen categorically denies all the market rumors,” the bank spokeswoman told Reuters.

Jul 29, 2011

Raw materials prices hit Schneider margin forecast

PARIS, July 29 (Reuters) – French power specialist Schneider
Electric said full-year core margin would be at the
bottom end of previous targets after raw material prices had a
higher than expected impact on first-half results.

Coming a day after its domestic rival Legrand said price
increases had allowed it to protect margins, Schneider’s news
prompted a sharp drop in its shares. After being briefly halted
limit-down at the start of trade, the stock was down 2.9 percent
by 0843 GMT.

Jul 28, 2011

Greece may cost Credit Agricole up to Eur 850 mln

PARIS, July 28 (Reuters) – French bank Credit Agricole
said an expected loss at its Emporiki (CBGr.AT: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) unit
and its participation in the EU Greek rescue plan, would force
it to take a second-quarter provision of up to 850 million euros
($1.22 billion).

For France’s third-largest bank, which is majority owned by
a network of cooperative regional banks, the Greek crisis is the
latest in a series of recent missteps, which also saw a
disastrous foray into investment banking.

Jul 28, 2011

Lafarge says raw material costs hit Q2

PARIS, July 28 (Reuters) – France’s Lafarge (LAFP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the
world’s largest cement maker, said second-quarter operating
income fell 16 percent, missing analysts’ forecasts, as higher
raw material costs took their toll.

Lafarge, which recently entered into exclusive talks to sell
its European and South American plaster assets as part of a
wider debt reduction plan, has struggled to push through price
hikes to compensate for higher raw materials prices.

    • 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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