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WRAPUP 1-BNP,SocGen make strides in shedding assets
March 28, 2012 / 10:21 AM / 6 years ago

WRAPUP 1-BNP,SocGen make strides in shedding assets

* BNP Paribas says has reached 70 pct of deleveraging target

* Expects to complete plan by year-end

* SocGen says aims to cut CIB liquidity needs

* Expects to meet Basel 3 requirements by year-end (Combines previous BNP, Socgen stories)

By Christian Plumb

PARIS, March 28 (Reuters) - BNP Paribas and Societe Generale are making strides in reducing their balance sheets as they come to grips with more stringent capital requirements and a dearth of dollar funding, the French banks said on Wednesday.

BNP Chief Executive Jean-Laurent Bonnafe said the bank’s planned asset disposals were ahead of schedule and that they should be completed by the end of the year.

“Our number-one priority remains our implementation of our deleveraging plan,” Bonnafe said in a presentation at a Morgan Stanley conference in London, which was webcast. “All in all we have already achieved 70 percent of the plan.”

BNP, France’s largest bank, also said that it had completed 60 percent of its 2012 funding programme, raising 12 billion euros ($15.99 billion) since the beginning of the year with an average maturity of 6 years, mostly through private placements.

Societe Generale CEO Frederic Oudea said his bank - which last year saw its shares pummelled amid concern about its liquidity - was making progress on cutting the kind of assets viewed as riskier by bank regulators.

“The deleveraging will carry on,” he said. “We have clear targets.”

SocGen aims to cut the liquidity needs of its corporate and investment bank by 50 to 60 billion euros as it sells more loans, he said, confirming that the bank would meet capital requirements under Basel 3 rules between now and 2013.

BNP Paribas also confirmed that it expects to meet the Basel 3 common equity Tier 1 capital ratio target of 9 percent by the beginning of next year.

Both executives spoke at a Morgan Stanley financial services conference in London at which the deputy CEO of No. 3 French bank Credit Agricole, Jean-Yves Hocher, and Chief Executive of insurer AXA, Henri de Castries, were scheduled to speak later on Wednesday.

In slides released before de Castries spoke, AXA also focused on the strength of its balance sheet, saying that its regulatory Solvency 1 ratio had risen to more than 200 percent by the end of February.

Societe Generale shares were down 2.1 percent at 23.06 euros in late morning trading, while BNP Paribas was 1 percent lower at 36.40 euros, about in line with a 1.1 percent decline in the European sector. ($1 = 0.7506 euros) (Reporting by Christian Plumb; Editing by Elena Berton and Jodie Ginsberg)

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