Banks under pressure

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Banks under pressure

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European bank stocks suffered falls, as the global recession bites. There was anger at Fortis, which was once the largest bank in Belgium.

Its meeting was suspended for five minutes, when shareholders shouted at the management to get out. This was in response to plans to sell out to French bank BNP Paribas, which were then finally agreed. 73 percent of shareholders voted in favour. Tomorrow another meeting takes place when shareholders in Utrecht, Holland, will cast their vote. Germany’s Deutsche Bank fared slightly better. This was helped by a debt trading windfall as well as by bumper revenue from sales. But this masked the erosion of its weath management arm and a dip in profit at its retail bank. The worst global downturn in a generation has left its mark on Deutsche Bank. In Spain the country’s second largest bank BBVA dipped 14 percent in net profit for the first quarter. But this was better than analysts had predicted. Bad loans rose, fuelled by weakness in Mexico and Spain. 1.04 ENDS