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Jul 26, 2011

France’s TF1 H1 profits rise 79 pct

PARIS, July 26 (Reuters) – France’s biggest broadcaster TF1
reported a stronger than expected 79 percent rise in
first-half operating profit as programming costs fell and group
advertising revenue rose.

Shares in TF1 jumped seven percent in early trading after
the company said operating profit climbed to 186.5 million euros
($267.5 million) and first half advertising revenue rose 4.7
percent to 905.2 million euros, helped by its digital
free-to-air channel TMC and Internet activities.

Jul 25, 2011

Analysis: UniCredit to lead cash queue if EU crisis worsens

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) – UniCredit (CRDI.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Societe Generale (SOGN.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) may have passed the recent health check of Europe’s banks, but they are likely to be among the first big lenders in need of cash if the euro zone crisis worsens.

Europe’s “stress test” of its lenders was widely derided as too soft, but it shone a light on potential trouble spots.

Jul 14, 2011

Lafarge in talks with Etex to sell plaster assets

PARIS (Reuters) – French cement maker Lafarge SA (LAFP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has entered exclusive talks to sell most of its plaster activities in Europe and South America to Belgium’s Etex Group for 850 million euros ($1.2 billion).

The deal would mean Lafarge, the world’s largest cement maker, will exceed its target of selling at least 750 million euros worth of assets as part of a plan to cut its debt by 2 billion euros.

Jul 6, 2011

Portugal adds to woes as banks assess Greek options

PARIS/LONDON (Reuters) – A credit rating downgrade for Portugal added to fears Europe’s banks face heavy losses on their euro zone lending if a private sector plan to help Greece comes unstuck, piling pressure on a meeting of creditors on Wednesday.

Banks, insurers and other creditors held a “productive” meeting in Paris and are assessing a range of options that could be attractive to different investors, the head of the Institute of International Finance (IIF) lobby group said.

Jul 5, 2011

French banks warn capital rules could hit growth

PARIS, July 5 (Reuters) – The heads of France’s two biggest
banks told regulators on Tuesday that tougher capital rules
could slam the brakes on growth in a region that still depends
on banks to provide most of its credit.

Global banking regulators decided last month to slap an
extra capital charge on the world’s biggest banks to make them
safer, a move that could hit BNP Paribas and Societe
Generale if they are deemed to be “systemically
important.”

Jun 20, 2011

Saint-Gobain pulls Verallia IPO, citing market

PARIS/LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) – French construction
materials maker Saint-Gobain (SGOB.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Monday postponed
indefinitely the initial public offering of its glass container
unit Verallia after weak investor demand.

Saint-Gobain, which had hoped to raise up to 958 million
euros ($1.36 billion) from the spinoff, cited an “underlying
level of market uncertainty and volatility” in the offering’s
failure.

Jun 16, 2011

French ousts Areva CEO after blunders, EDF spat

PARIS, June 16 (Reuters) – The French government on
Thursday said it planned to replace Anne Lauvergeon as chief
executive of nuclear group Areva (AREVA.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), putting an end to
weeks of speculation and controversy about the state-owned
company’s management.

Lauvergeon, one of France’s best known executives, will be
replaced by Luc Oursel, who headed Areva’s nuclear reactor
business before joining Lauvergeon’s executive board as chief
operating officer in charge of international, marketing and
projects.

Jun 8, 2011

Citigroup sells private equity assets to Axa unit

PARIS (Reuters) – Citigroup (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has agreed to sell a portfolio of private equity assets to Axa (AXAF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Private Equity for $1.7 billion, the French insurer said on Wednesday, the latest move by the U.S. bank to unload non-core assets.

For Axa Private Equity, the deal is part of a series of acquisitions of private equity investments originally owned by other investors, including the purchase of a $1.9 billion portfolio from Bank of America (BAC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in April 2010.

Jun 8, 2011

Hermes soaring valuation sparks new LVMH talk

PARIS (Reuters) – Hermes has long been famous for persuading shoppers to fork out over $5,000 (3,000 pounds) for hand crafted fashion icons like its Birkin bag. Now it’s the price tag on its shares that is raising eyebrows.

Hermes (HRMS.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) stock hit a new seven-month high this week — the highest level since it spiked above 200 euros a share after French billionaire Bernard Arnault shocked the luxury world by scooping up 20 percent of its stock.

Jun 7, 2011

DealTalk: Hermes soaring valuation sparks new LVMH talk

PARIS (Reuters) – Hermes (HRMS.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has long been famous for persuading shoppers to fork out over $5,000 for hand crafted fashion icons like its Birkin bag. Now it’s the price tag on its shares that is raising eyebrows.

Hermes stock hit a new seven-month high this week — the highest level since it spiked above 200 euros a share after French billionaire Bernard Arnault shocked the luxury world by scooping up 20 percent of its stock.

    • 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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