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France to borrow 4.5 billion euros by end-2013 to pay Credit Lyonnais debts

PARIS (Reuters) - France will borrow 4.5 billion euros ($6.0 billion) by the end of the year to settle debts from the collapse of the Credit Lyonnais bank, French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said on Sunday. The state has until the end of 2014 to settle the bank's remaining debts, but decided to take action this year, a ministry official said. Moscovici said he would present a bill on Wednesday updating the 2013 budget that would include authorization for the new debt to be issued.

Societe Generale sees Q3 profits increase 6 fold after efforts to clean up balance sheet

PARIS - Societe Generale says its net income increased six fold in the third quarter after last year's efforts to clean up the balance sheet. The French bank said Thursday that its net income for the July-to-September quarter was 534 million euros ($722 million), compared with 90 million euros in the same period last year. The improvement comes despite declines in its retail and investment banking divisions. In the wake of the European debt crisis, many banks have had to write down the value of bad loans.

SocGen, Agricole agree asset swap in strategy shift

By Lionel Laurent and Matthias Blamont PARIS (Reuters) - French banks Societe Generale <SOGN.PA> and Credit Agricole <CAGR.PA> have agreed an asset swap designed to help narrow their business focus, part of efforts to improve their investor appeal in a tough economic and regulatory climate.

Credit Agricole SA reports asset sale boost, resumes dividend

Credit Agricole SA, the quoted vehicle for French Credit Agricole bank, switched sharply into a net profit of 728 million euros in the third quarter of the year boosted by capital gains, it said on Thursday. In the same period of last year the bank had reported a net loss of 2.85 billion euros ($3.86 billion), mainly owing to costs arising from the disposal of its problem arm in Greece, Emporiki bank.

Credit Agricole could boost regional banks' powers: papers

PARIS (Reuters) - French bank Credit Agricole <CAGR.PA> is considering a reorganization that could bolster the powers of the regional savings banks that are its main shareholders, two French newspapers reported on Friday. The FNCA federation in which the regional banks group their majority shareholding has hired Citigroup to advise it on talks underway on a potential reshuffle of the group, while Credit Agricole SA, the listed entity, has hired Rothschild and Morgan Stanley, Le Figaro reported, citing unnamed sources.

Credit Agricole bank leaps free of Greek debacle

Credit Agricole bank, free of big millstones in Greece and Italy, reported a leap in net profit for the second quarter on Tuesday, and its shares also jumped. The bank, which had already reported an improvement in the first quarter, turned in a second-quarter net figure of 696 million euros ($923 million) compared with 111 million euros in the same period of last year. This comparison is after adjustment of the size of the company for the disposal of assets in Emporiki bank in Greece, and other assets in Italy.

Credit Agricole sells CLSA stake to Chinese brokerage firm

The investment banking arm of French banking giant Credit Agricole has completed the sale of its 80.1-percent stake in Hong-Kong based brokerage firm CLSA to China's CITIC Securities for $841.7 million (635 million euros), the two firms said Wednesday. With the addition of CLSA to its own network of offices, CITICS "becomes the first China-based brokerage and investment banking firm to provide client services with a global reach," with offices in most of Asia, Australia, Britain and the United States.

Credit Agricole targets return to profit in 2013

French bank Credit Agricole SA aims to return to profit in 2013 after two years of losses and pay shareholders a dividend, chief executive Jean-Marie Sander said Thursday. Speaking at the annual shareholders meeting, Sander acknowledged that 2012 was a difficult year, but the hard decisions Credit Agricole has taken "will allow the group to recover its profitability during the 2013 financial year."

Cleaned-up Credit Agricole bank reports profit leap

French bank Credit Agricole SA raised net profit by more than half in the first quarter, it said on Tuesday, noting that it had cleaned up its balance sheet at the end of last year. In the first three months of the year, the bank, which is the quoted arm of the Credit Agricole holding group, raised net profit by 50.7 percent to 469 million euros ($613.5 million). The results of the bank had been hit hard for several quarters by exceptional charges and particularly by the costs of withdrawing from its investment in Emporiki bank in Greece.

Greek banks post heavy losses

Greece's top lender National Bank on Wednesday reported a net loss of 2.14 billion euros ($2.75 billion) for 2012 while Alpha Bank said it had sustained a net loss of 1.09 billion euros over the same period. National Bank, which recently completed a merger with number two lender Eurobank, said total assets stood at 104.8 billion euros with deposits at 58.7 billion euros. New number-two Alpha Bank, which acquired smaller lender Emporiki Bank from France's Credit Agricole, had 76.5 billion euros in assets and 41.4 billion euros in deposits.
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