Greece hits Credit Agricole bank profits

25th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

French bank Credit Agricole, one of Europe's biggest lenders, said Thursday its second quarter net profit fell more than 10 percent, hit by a large charge on its exposure to debt-stricken Greece.

Credit Agricole said its three months to June net profit dropped 10.6 percent from a year earlier to 339 million euros ($490 million) after provisions of 640 million euros on its Greek business and holdings of Greek government bonds.

Its Greek unit Emporiki, acquired in 2006, accounted for nearly 500 million euros of the charge.

Exposure to Greece, which has had to be bailed out twice to save it from default, has seen French banks and some of their European peers take heavy charges against earnings in recent months.

Credit Agricole said earlier that the second quarter charge would not exceed 850 million euros.

In the quarter, it reported net banking income -- the difference between interest earned and interest paid out -- of 5.53 billion euros, up 1.1 percent, producing an operating profit of 2.20 billion euros, up 6.6 percent.

© 2011 AFP

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