* Greek unit Emporiki to take 444 mln euro Q2 loss
* Credit Agricole to write down rest of acquisition
* Provisioning follows CFO replacement
(Adds additional details)
By Christian Plumb
PARIS, July 28 French bank Credit Agricole
said an expected loss at its Emporiki CBGr.AT unit
and its participation in the EU Greek rescue plan, would force
it to take a second-quarter provision of up to 850 million euros
For France's third-largest bank, which is majority owned by
a network of cooperative regional banks, the Greek crisis is the
latest in a series of recent missteps, which also saw a
disastrous foray into investment banking.
Credit Agricole said on Thursday it still expects to turn a
The bank had been expected to post net income of 861.67
million euros when it reports earnings at the end of August,
according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S before
the provision was announced.
The bank earlier this month said it was replacing Bertrand
Badre as chief financial officer, which some analysts speculated
may have been related to the worsening Greece numbers.
"When the CFO left, a lot of people were expecting that part
of the reason had to do with Emporiki," said Mediobanca analyst
Alain Tchibozo, adding that the former finance chief had been
known for his optimistic forecasts on the Greek unit.
Credit Agricole's Greek Emporiki Bank unit will post a 451
million euro second-quarter loss in the quarter and said the
worsening climate would make its goal of breaking even by the
end of 2012 "more difficult."
The Greek bank is also taking a 71 million euro impairment
for its Greek sovereign bond portfolio.
Credit Agricole also said it had decided to take a 359
million-euro writedown for the remainder of the unit's
"Of course it will have an impact on the stock," Tchibozo
added. "A lot of people knew they were in trouble but those who
did not will sell the stock."
Credit Agricole shares are down 7.1 percent so far this
year, outperforming the European banking sector , which
has lost nearly 11 percent.
Earlier on Thursday, French Finance Minister Francois Baroin
said French banks and insurers would propose to their boards
that all of the Greek debt they held maturing by 2020, worth
about 15 billion euros, would be involved in the rescue effort.
Larger French banks BNP Paribas and Societe
Generale , are set to report earnings next week and are
likely to quantify their exposure to the Greek bailout agreed
BNP Paribas is the biggest holder of Greek debt outside
Greece with exposure of 4.5 billion euros to Greek bonds on its
(Additional reporting by Matthieu Protard; Editing by Astrid
Wendlandt and Erica Billingham)