LONDON, July 1 European shares edged higher on
Tuesday, with BNP Paribas among the top performers as
traders expressed relief at the fact that the French bank had
settled a U.S. sanctions case.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up by
0.2 percent at 1,373.70 points in early session trading - still
some 2 percent below a 6-1/2 year peak of 1,399.62 points
reached last month.
BNP Paribas rose 2.7 percent, making it the best performer
in percentage terms on the FTSEurofirst index.
BNP Paribas pleaded guilty to two criminal charges and
agreed to pay almost $9 billion to resolve allegations that in
many financial dealings it violated U.S. sanctions against
Sudan, Cuba and Iran.
However, analysts and investors said the stock could now
recover ground lost over the last few months due to the fact
that BNP Paribas had finally settled the matter with U.S.
Shares in BNP had lost as much as 20 percent since the
French bank first announced the provision for the fine on Feb.
13, representing a wipeout in market value of about 15.4 billion
euros ($21 billion).
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Blaise Robinson)