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AXA writedown hits BNP profits


AXA writedown hits BNP profits


Fourth-quarter net profit at BNP Paribas came in below expectations at 1.55 billion euros, a 13.6 percent increase on the same period a year earlier.

France’s biggest listed bank blames a 534 million euro charge on the value of its stake in the insurance firm AXA.

It said the surprise one-off charge was due to “highly volatile” post-crisis stock markets valuations of AXA. BNP owns 5.2 percent of AXA’s shares.

Following in the footsteps of smaller rival Societe Generale — which met fourth-quarter forecasts on Wednesday — BNP raised its dividend to 2.1 euros per share, from 1.5 euros in 2009.

It also boosted its cost-savings target for Belgian acquisition Fortis to 1.2 billion euros, from 900 million.

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