The fat lady hasn’t sung

THE across-the-board improvement in SocGen’s results will give some relief to chief executive Frédéric Oudéa after a ropey 2009.

Analysts remain tepid on the stock but investors reacted positively yesterday with the share price gaining a solid 4.9 per cent by the end of the day.

The bank still has to show that it can generate improved earnings while bringing its capital ratio in line with requirements: its core tier one ratio barely moved last year.

But adding to the uncertainty is SocGen’s exposure to peripheral Eurozone economies: it has €2.7bn in net exposures to Greece, €2bn to Spain and €4.1bn to a sluggishly growing Italy.

The combination means that, despite the progress, it is too soon to celebrate.