Natixis returns to profit

FRENCH bank Natixis returned to a net profit last year and plans to resume paying a dividend.

Natixis, which focuses on investment banking, has boosted revenue in a volatile year thanks to strength in corporate finance, capital markets and asset management.

The bank’s net profit for 2010 was €1.73bn, compared with an average analyst estimate of €1.34bn. Natixis posted a €1.39bn loss in 2009.

Natixis chairman Francois Perol said that the bank, which is 72 per cent owned by cooperative group BPCE, is on track to comply with stricter Basel III capital rules without having to raise funds.

Shares of Natixis closed up 4.29 per cent at €4.30, to make the stock the top gainer on the French blue-chip CAC 40 index.