Profits soar at Credit Agricole

City A.M. Reporter
French bank Credit Agricole yesterday said it did not plan to raise capital to meet incoming Basel III requirements as it posted higher-than-forecast quarterly results, driven by retail banking.

The bank is seen as one of the most vulnerable in Europe to the stricter capital rules because of its cross-shareholdings with its cooperative parent group.

“Credit Agricole does not plan to carry out any rights issue for the purpose of meeting regulatory requirements,” the bank said in a statement, though it said it could take “non-dilutive” measures to strengthen solvency.

The bank said cross-shareholdings with regional banks could add around €50bn (£42.6bn) in risk-weighted assets under Basel rules coming into force in 2019.

Credit Agricole said third-quarter net profit more than doubled to €742m, higher than the €669m average market consensus.

Strong trends in domestic retail banking helped offset losses at the group’s Greek Emporiki unit, while strong corporate financing activities helped its investment banking unit profit. Growth at corporate financing also helped offset capital markets sluggishness, delivering overall investment banking profits of €358m.