PARIS, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Europe’s second-biggest insurer
AXA posted a 12 percent rise in 2014 net profit thanks
to lower costs and raised its dividend, sending its shares to
their highest since the start of the financial crisis.
Despite low interest rates pressuring insurers’ investment
revenues, analysts saw room for the company to raise its
dividend further in the future.
PARIS (Reuters) – The EU’s top economics official raised the threat of sanctions against France over its budget slippages on Monday but made clear that he would prefer to reach a deal that would grant Paris yet another reprieve in exchange for reform pledges.
The European Commission is due to say this week whether it considers that France’s efforts to reform its economy and cut its deficit are sufficient, despite repeated failures to meet fiscal goals.
LONDON (Reuters) – At the height of the euro zone debt crisis in 2012, ECB President Mario Draghi’s problem was how to convince investors to hold on to European bonds. Now he faces a struggle to make them sell.
Weeks before the European Central Bank begins a program to buy about 1 trillion euros of euro zone government bonds, banks, pension funds and insurers across the continent are hoarding them for regulatory or accounting reasons.
PARIS, Feb 5 (Reuters) – BNP Paribas expects
rising taxes and new regulations to reduce 2016 earnings by 500
million euros ($571 million), France’s biggest bank said on
Thursday, sending its shares down 4 percent.
The bank faces increased costs for foreign banks in the U.S.
and a mounting bill related to Europe’s new banking union. It
expects banking-sector specific taxes to top 900 million euros
next year and said the impact of costs should ease thereafter.
PARIS, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Tight health budgets, regulatory
revolutions and the threat of Google have unleashed a surge of
competition among France’s mutual insurers, triggering a wave of
mergers in the usually staid corner of the financial sector.
Malakoff Mederic and La Mutuelle Generale were the latest
not-for-profit mutuals to ink a tie-up creating a combined group
this month with annual revenues of 4.6 billion euros ($5.2
PARIS, Jan 19 (Reuters) – Societe Generale is to
split its top job into two with the appointment of former
European Central Bank executive board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi
as chairman, while Frederic Oudea will remain chief executive.
Societe Generale was the only big French bank not to have
separated the two roles and was expected to do this to comply
with European Union regulations and recommendations from French
PARIS, Jan 17 (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande
said on Saturday that anti-Charlie Hebdo protesters in other
countries do not understand France’s attachment to freedom of
He was speaking a day after the satirical weekly’s
publication of a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad sparked violent
clashes, including deaths, in some Muslim countries.
PARIS (Reuters) – French municipal borrowers are seeing the cost of billions of euros in Swiss franc-linked debt spiral dangerously higher, forcing the state to consider lending them a helping hand.
Up to the 2008-09 financial crisis, many municipalities and local governments took out long-term loans linked to foreign currencies, offering low interest rates in the initial years and floating rates afterwards.
PARIS, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Charlie Hebdo will publish a front
page showing a caricature of the Prophet Mohammad holding a sign
saying “Je suis Charlie” in its first edition since Islamist
gunmen attacked the satirical newspaper.
With demand surging for the edition due on Wednesday, the
weekly planned to print up to 3 million copies, dwarfing its
usual run of 60,000, after newsagents reported that large
numbers of customers around the country were placing orders.
PARIS (Reuters) – Charlie Hebdo will publish a front page showing a caricature of the Prophet Mohammad in its first edition since Islamist gunmen attacked the satirical newspaper.
With demand surging for the edition due on Wednesday, the weekly planned to print up to 3 million copies, dwarfing its usual run of 60,000, after newsagents reported that large numbers of customers around the country were placing orders.