Credit rating agencies have apologised to France’s second largest bank Societe Generale for market rumours questioning its credit worthiness.
The speculation triggered a slump in the bank’s shares down to 22% at one point over anxiety that it was badly exposed to Greek and Italian debt.
President Nicolas Sarkozy was so concerned he interrupted his holiday for emergency talks with his finance and budget ministers to find fresh measures to cut the deficit.
All three rating agencies have gone on to deny France is set for a downgrade like the US.
Societe Generale reported a 1.6 billion euro first quarter profit last week, but with France being the most indebted of the euro zone’s six triple-A rated states, a jittery financial market fears debt contagion above all else.