PARIS Feb 13 BNP Paribas, France's
No. 1 listed bank, reported a 76 percent decline in quarterly
profits on Thursday after booking a $1.1 billion litigation
provision linked to a potential breach of U.S. sanctions.
The provision - which was also accompanied by restructuring
costs and writedowns on the acquisition value of BNP's Italian
unit BNL - offset a rise in group revenue and gross operating
profit, dragging net income down to 127 million euros ($173
million) from 519 million a year earlier.
BNP, which is seeking to speed up cost cuts while expanding
in markets such as Asia and the United States, unveiled an
eagerly awaited pledge to achieve return on equity of at least
10 percent by 2016.
The bank is also targeting double-digit average annual
growth rates for earnings per share between 2013 and 2016.
($1 = 0.7359 euros)
(Reporting by Lionel Laurent and Matthias Blamont; Editing by