Nov. 7 - France's biggest bank, BNP Paribas has doubled its third-quarter profit thanks to a rebound in debt product sales and a strong performance from its investment banking, but it says it is looking at cutting costs to counter a slowdown in Europe's economy. Hayley Platt reports.
1.3 billion euro is today's daily digit in Europe - BNP Paribas's third quarter net profit. It's double what it was a year ago, thanks to strong investment banking and a rebound in debt product sales. France's biggest bank also said its cost cutting plan was helping it meet targets ahead of schedule. Jean-Laurent Bonnafe is BNP Paribas's CEO. SOUNDBITE: Jean-Laurent Bonnafe, CEO, BNP Paribas, saying (English): "We have a very good strict risk control and we are also working quite efficiently on the cost base so all-in-all we believe that all those domestic market divisions are going to perform reasonably well over the coming quarters." But it wasn't all good news and more cuts can't be ruled out. Revenues fell 3.4 percent, due, says the bank, to interest rate fluctuations. And with Europe's economy slowing the bank is looking to the US for expansion. SOUNDBITE: Jean-Laurent Bonnafe, CEO, BNP Paribas, saying (English): "We are fairly well placed to bank west and we're working on the plan for the CAB businesses in New York, the CAB platform will be in New York so both side, West Coast for the retail business and New York for the investment bank business." BNP's shares jumped 4 percent on the 1.3bln euro news. It was the bank's biggest gain in three weeks.