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Apr 5, 2013

France wants banks to be core Euronext investors – sources

LONDON/PARIS, April 5 (Reuters) – The French government has
approached the country’s banks and insurers about forming a
consortium to buy at least 34 percent of the Euronext stock
exchange, due to be spun off in a public offering, sources close
to the matter said on Friday.

But banks, whose latitude for making such investments have
been reduced by looming capital rules, are resisting the
government’s entreaties, the sources said.

Mar 30, 2013

KKR in talks to buy French clothing brands Sandro, Maje -source

PARIS, March 30 (Reuters) – Private equity firm KKR
has entered into exclusive talks to buy a majority of French
fashion brands Maje, Sandro and Claudie Pierlot, according to a
source familiar with the transaction.

The acquisition of the brands, partially owned by LVMH
Chief Executive Bernard Arnault, would give them an
enterprise value of 650 million euros, the source said.

Mar 26, 2013

Credit Agricole shows challenges for mid-tier investment bank players

PARIS, March 26 (Reuters) – Europe’s mid-tier banks, having
already shrunk their investment banking activities, may face
increasing pressure to scale back in areas like proprietary
trading and M&A advisory as costly regulation and weak demand
eat into earnings.

From Credit Agricole in Paris to Commerzbank
in Frankfurt, many European banks have fallen further
behind Wall Street institutions such as Goldman Sachs and
JP Morgan in industry rankings as they cut most types of
lending and scale back risky trading bets.

Feb 21, 2013

Allianz, AXA dividends help allay sector worries

PARIS/MUNICH, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Europe’s top two insurers
at least maintained their dividends for the past year, helping
allay concerns that insurer payouts were being threatened by a
malign combination of low bond yields and tighter regulatory
requirements.

Germany’s Allianz kept its payout steady at 4.5
euros per share, while French rival AXA raised its
shareholder reward 4 percent to 0.72 cents, easing fears about
the sustainability of insurance sector payouts highlighted by a
surprise cut on Wednesday from Britain’s Royal & Sun Alliance
(RSA).

Feb 20, 2013

Agricole aims for positive 2013 after historic loss

PARIS (Reuters) – Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) posted its biggest full-year loss since it went public 11 years ago after an unexpected 838 million euro tax demand from France’s socialist government compounded weaker revenues and hefty asset writedowns.

The French bank’s full-year loss ballooned to 6.5 billion euros (5.67 billion pounds) as taxes on the sale of Emporiki Bank pushed Credit Agricole deeper into the red than expected.

Feb 20, 2013

Credit Agricole loss balloons on writedowns, Greece

PARIS (Reuters) – Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted a 6.5 billion-euro ($8.68 billion) full-year loss – the worst since the French bank went public in 2001 – as taxes on the sale of its Greek unit pushed the bank deeper than expected into the red .

Bank executives told reporters an unexpected decision by French tax authorities to disallow a tax deduction the bank was seeking for the sale of Emporiki Bank triggered an 838 million-euro tax hit, pushing fourth-quarter writedowns to 4.53 billion.

Feb 20, 2013

C.Agricole loss balloons on writedowns, Greece

PARIS, Feb 20 (Reuters) – Credit Agricole posted a
6.5 billion-euro ($8.68 billion) full-year loss – the worst
since the French bank went public in 2001 – as taxes on the sale
of its Greek unit pushed the bank deeper than expected into the
red .

Bank executives told reporters an unexpected decision by
French tax authorities to disallow a tax deduction the bank was
seeking for the sale of Emporiki Bank triggered an 838
million-euro tax hit, pushing fourth-quarter writedowns to 4.53
billion.

Feb 18, 2013

Natixis shares soar on ownership overhaul

PARIS, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Shares in Natixis rose
as much as 24 percent on Monday, a day after the French
investment bank said it would simplify its finances by selling
its stake in the network of cooperative lenders which controls
it, paving the way for higher dividends.

The bank, rescued in the financial crisis in 2009 through a
government-backed merger of its retail cooperative parents, has
since been undergoing a gradual restructuring aimed at selling
off risky assets.

Feb 17, 2013

Natixis to simplify structure, pay special dividend

PARIS, Feb 17 (Reuters) – French bank Natixis said
on Sunday it would simplify its finances by shedding a 20
percent stake in BPCE, a network of cooperative lenders which
controls it, paving the way for higher dividends in the future.

Natixis said it would sell 12 billion euros ($16.02 billion)
in investment certificates through which it owned a fifth of
parent company BPCE to BPCE and its cooperative shareholders.

Feb 7, 2013

European insurers shadow banks in bid to boost yields

PARIS, Feb 7 (Reuters) – European insurers and asset
managers are taking on more risk to boost investment returns by
lending to big-ticket infrastructure projects, companies and
property developers where banks might no longer be able to
provide.

The diversification, starting from a small base, stretches
from France, where BNP Paribas Investment Partners
recently launched its third corporate debt fund for insurers in
a year, to northern Europe, where Swiss Re is to
invest $500 million in senior debt issued by northern European
infrastructure projects.

    • 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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