Aug.1 - French bank Societe Generale reports a worse-than-expected 42 percent drop in second-quarter earnings, hit by one-off write-downs on U.S. fund unit TCW and Russian subsidiary Rosbank. Ciara Sutton reports.
More bad news for Europe's banks as one of France's biggest, Societe Generale, reported a 42 percent drop in second quarter profits. It blames the poor results on 476 million euros in write-downs on U.S. fund unit TCW and Russian subsidiary Rosbank. It also took a hit on the cost of selling assets to cut debt. And the bank's Deputy CEO, Severin Cabannes, remains cautious on its outlook. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOCIETE GENERALE, DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER SEVERIN CABANNES, SAYING: "We don't bet on the general environment but it's fair to say that the second quarter has been a deteriorating environment, but we don't know what will be the third and fourth quarter market conditions. The main point for us is to protect the resilience of our business, and continue to protect the profile of the liquidity of the balance sheet, and to strengthen the capital base of the bank." SocGen's corporate and investment bank, which cut back on risk after a huge rogue trading loss in 2008, saw second-quarter profits sink 70 percent. European rivals have also felt the pain of euro zone turmoil with Deutsche Bank announcing 1,500 job cuts, and Switzerland's UBS also reporting big losses. Ciara Sutton, Reuters.