Aug. 6 - Credit Agricole reports a more than twelve-fold increase in quarterly profit, becoming the latest French lender to beat forecasts as its slimmed-down investment bank shows unexpected resilience. Sonia Legg reports.
4.5% is today's daily digit - the immediate share price rise at Credit Agricole after a 12 fold increase in quarterly profit. A year ago France's third biggest bank was depressed by asset-writedowns in Greece and Italy - it posted a loss close to 4 billion euros. This year second quarter net income was almost 700mln euros (696mln) well above analysts' forecast. Credit Agricole's re-focus on it's home market appears to be paying off despite a struggling French economy. But Chief Executive Jean-Paul Chifflet warned there were challenges ahead "The economic situation remains weak," he said, "and we're proceeding in an environment that's too heavy with constraints for the banks." Capital remains a concern. Some reports suggest Credit Agricole's leverage under Basel III rules is 1.7% - it need to be 3% by 2018.