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Bank of France sees French Q1 economic growth at 0.4%
February 12, 2019
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PARIS: France is expected to have first quarter economic growth of 0.4 per cent, the Bank of France said in its monthly business survey on Monday, as the euro zone’s second-biggest economy grapples with the impact to business from anti-government protests.

First-quarter growth of 0.4 per cent would represent a slight improvement from the fourth quarter of 2018, when the French economy grew by 0.3 per cent.

The French government expects the country’s economy to grow by 1.7 per cent for 2019. France’s largest listed bank BNP Paribas cut its profit and revenue growth targets for 2020, after weak financial markets hit revenues in the last quarter of 2018.

BNP Paribas now expects a return on equity of 9.5 per cent in 2020, down from a prior target of above 10 per cent. The bank also lowered its revenue growth target to 1.5 per cent per year between 2016 and 2020, from 2.5 per cent previously.

The downgrades came after revenue fell 1.5 per cent in 2018 to 42.52 billion euros ($48.5 billion).

That included a 40 per cent plunge in revenues, as well as a pretax loss, at its global markets investment banking and trading arm in the fourth quarter as financial markets slumped. BNP Paribas chief executive Jean-Laurent Bonnafe and deputy chief operating officer and head of corporate and institutional banking,Yann Gerardin, were present during the presentation of the bank’s 2018 results in Paris recently. BNP Paribas shares fell 2.9 per cent, lagging a 0.4 per cent drop in France’s benchmark CAC-40 index and a 0.7 per cent fall in the STOXX Europe 600 bank index. “A miss in markets.

Reuters

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