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BNP Paribas shares slump on $10 billion fine report

BNP Paribas shares slump on $10 billion fine report
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Shares in French bank BNP Paribas fell sharply on Friday following a report that the US government is set to fine it more than $10 billion (7.34 billion euros) over charges it violated Washington’s sanctions against Iran, Sudan and Cuba.

It would be one of the largest penalties ever imposed on a bank.

The Wall Street Journal reports that BNP Paribas was hoping to negotiate a settlement of less than $8 billion.

In February, the bank announced that it was putting aside $1.1 billion to cover the expected settlement. Last month it said it was prepared for the fines to be “far in excess” of that.

A final resolution to the year=long investigation into the bank’s activity between 2002-2009 is expected in the next few weeks.

The two sides are believed to still be arguing over whether BNP will be temporarily denied the right to clear US dollar transactions as part of its punishment. BNP officials have said that would destabilise the bank.

France’s central bank has said it is following the case “with the utmost attention”.

BNP Paribas’s share price ended the Friday session down 2.43 percent, having been 6.0 percent lower earlier.