April 30, 2014 / 5:07 AM / 4 years ago

BNP Paribas warns of bigger-than-expected U.S. fine

PARIS, April 30 (Reuters) - BNP Paribas, France’s biggest bank, warned it might be hit with a U.S. fine “far in excess” of the $1.1 billion it set aside last year to cover litigation costs linked to a potential breach of U.S. sanctions on countries including Iran.

“The discussions that took place during the first quarter of 2014 concerning U.S. dollar payments involving countries subject to U.S. sanctions demonstrate that a high degree of uncertainty exists,” BNP said in a statement.

“The amount of the fines could be far in excess of the amount of the ($1.1 billion) provision.”

BNP reported a better-than-expected 5.2 percent rise in first-quarter net income on Wednesday, with the effects of its full takeover of Belgian subsidiary Fortis last year helping to counterbalance writedowns on assets exposed to the Ukraine crisis and rising loan losses in Italy. (Reporting by Lionel Laurent and Matthias Blamont; Editing by James Regan)

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