Societe Generale posts profit, reveals Greek debt risk

5th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

French bank Societe Generale reported higher-than-expected profits on Wednesday but revealed it had an exposure of three billion euros (3.9 billion dollars) to Greek government debt.

Societe Generale posted a net profit of 1.06 billion euros (1.38 billion dollars) for the first quarter of the year, compared to a loss of 278 million euros in the first three months of 2009, the company said in a statement.

"The beginning of 2010 has provided further evidence of the improvement in the global economic outlook, albeit with considerable disparities from one region to another," it said, warning also of uncertainty over new regulation.

"The pick-up in activity in developed European countries is much less pronounced than in the other areas of the world and is likely to be constrained by the indispensable measures to reduce public deficits and debt," it added.

The bank also said that by the end of April it had an exposure of three billion euros to Greek government debt, which has been at the forefront of investor fears in recent days because of Greece's fiscal crisis.

Societe Generale also owns a 54-percent stake in Greece's Geniki Bank.

© 2010 AFP

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