SocGen profit set to slump in third quarter

Wed Nov 7, 2012 7:00pm EST

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* Investors looking for news on asset sales, Egypt

* Slowing French retail also under scrutiny

By Lionel Laurent

PARIS, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Third-quarter profit is set to slump by three-quarters at Societe Generale as the cost of exiting debt-wracked Greece and one-off charges blunt rebounding trading revenues.

Investors will be watching closely for news on more asset disposals after the sale of SocGen's Greek unit Geniki last month.

France's no.2 bank is in talks with Qatar National Bank over a possible purchase of Egyptian unit National Societe Generale Bank.

SocGen has been cutting staff, expenses and its balance sheet over the past year in profit-sapping moves to meet tougher industry capital requirements and soothe investors.

Quarterly net profit is seen falling around 78 percent to 139.1 million euros ($178.07 million), according to the mean estimate of a Reuters poll of seven analyst forecasts.

Revenues are seen declining 15.4 percent, to 5.5 billion euros, according to the same poll.

Although SocGen's corporate and investment bank is expected to have profited from the same central bank-driven rebound in financial markets enjoyed by larger rival BNP Paribas, analysts said the bank's 100 million-euro loss on Geniki would add to one-off losses on asset sales and debt accounting.

SocGen's retail bank operations in France, a reliable source of profit in 2010 and 2011, will also be under scrutiny after BNP reported a 2 percent decline in domestic retail revenues for the quarter. ($1 = 0.7812 euros) (Reporting by Lionel Laurent; Editing by David Cowell)

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