AXA write down hits profits of BNP Paribas

BNP-Paribas Missed Q4 earnings Forecast

BNP-Paribas Missed Q4 earnings Forecast

BNP Paribas – the biggest listed French bank missed earnings forecast in the last quarter of 2010 due to write down of one of its business units.

The banking group’s revenue was up by 2.6% at €10.3 billion, while profits rose by 13.6% over the same quarter last year, to €1.55 billion (£1.3 billion, $2.1 billion).

BNP however, had to write down €500 million of its holding in French insurer AXA. The company blamed the ‘highly volatile’ stock market for the loss of value of its investment, causing it to charge losses in its earnings.

However, it was quick to add that like most European financial stocks, AXA’s shares have made a strong comeback since the beginning of the year amid hopes that the sovereign debt crisis looming over some member states may finally be over.

The bank said it hopes that the percentage of non-performing loans will fall slightly in 2011.

“I’ll be very blunt. At the moment, we are not very acquisitive. This year we will concentrate on organic growth”, said chief executive Baudouin Prot, ruling out any takeover in the near future.

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