May 11 - French bank Credit Agricole is prepared for all possible outcomes in Greece, after charges at its business in the debt-laden country helped trigger a steeper-than-expected 75 percent drop in quarterly profit. Ciara Sutton reports.
The French bank Credit Agricole is preparing for all possible outcomes in Greece - including an exit from the euro zone. The bank's chief executive made that observation after the it reported a 75 percent slump in quarterly profits. France's third largest bank suffered massive charges in Greece. It took a 940 million euro hit in Greek-related writedowns, the latest from its ill-fated acquisition of its Emporiki business there. Credit Agricole shares were down over three percent in early trade but largely recovered by early afternoon. Banks across Europe have taken big losses on assets in Greece as part of the international bailout of the country. And concern is mounting that the political situation could damage the euro zone further, as it struggles to form a coalition after last week's election produced a hung parliament. The majority of Greeks want to stay in the euro zone but voted last week for parties that reject the severe terms of the bailout. European leaders say Greece will be ejected from the common currency if it turns its back on the package of tax hikes and wage cuts. Ciara Sutton, Reuters.