Fitch trims BNP Paribas' credit rating
Credit rating agency Fitch on Monday cut its rating on BNP Paribas by a notch due to the French banking giant's exposure to risky businesses and assets.
Although BNP was broadly diversified as one of Europe's biggest banks, it relied heavily on corporate and investment banking and had put aside slightly less reserves than its peers on average, Fitch said.
"This means that the bank no longer fits comfortably alongside a peer group of more highly rated banks," it said in a statement.
"Despite good progress and prospects which Fitch believes are favourable for the group, the agency no longer considers BNPP to demonstrate the very high credit profile exhibited by banks rated 'AA', it added, cutting its rating to AA-.
BNP Paribas beat analysts' forecasts with first quarter net profit up 46 percent to 2.283 billion euros (2.812 billion dollars), with corporate and investment banking alone generating 1.69 billion euros in profits.
Fitch said that given the bank's importance both in France and internationally that BNP could count on "state support being forthcoming if necessary".
© 2010 AFP