SocGen's restructuring dents Q3 results but lifts capital buffer

PARIS, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Societe Generale, France’s third-largest listed bank, reported a 34.8% drop in quarterly net profit, marked by weakness in its trading and investment banking business.

Chief Executive Frederic Oudea cited progress in his efforts to overhaul the balance sheet, having exited private banking in Belgium, cut 23 branches in French retail networks and freed up capital at its corporate and investment bank.

SocGen reported a third-quarter net profit of 854 million euros ($945.7 million) on Wednesday, down from 1.31 billion euros for the same period in 2018.

That compared with expectations for a figure closer to 967 million euros, according to a Reuters survey of four analysts.

The bank continued deleveraging by reducing risk-weighted assets, which could allow it to use the funds to support business or return some of the money to shareholders. Its common-equity tier-one ratio - a key measure of financial health - rose to 12.5 percent at the end of September from 12% at the end of June.

$1 = 0.9030 euros Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by GV De Clercq and Stephen Coates