C.Agricole proposes dividend, beats own solvency targets

PARIS Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:07am EST

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PARIS Feb 19 (Reuters) - France's Credit Agricole said on Wednesday it will propose paying a dividend against its 2013 results for the first time since 2010 as it swung to a profit and exceeded its own targets to strengthen its balance sheet.

Credit Agricole posted net income for the full year of 2.5 billion euros ($3.44 billion), turning a page on two straight years of losses, marked by a painful exit from Greece, Italy-related provisions and a pullout from riskier investment-banking activities.

It said it will offer a 2013 dividend of 0.35 euros per share, either in cash or shares.

France's third-largest listed bank said its solvency ratios outperformed its target ahead of a European health check, with its fully-loaded common equity Tier 1 ratio under Basel 3 rules coming in at 8.3 percent as of January versus a forecast of 7.8 to 8 percent. ($1 = 0.7272 euros) (Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva and Matthias Blamont; Editing by James Regan)

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