The eventuality of a downgrade of French banks by the rating agency Moody’s is fuelling concern on the markets today. BNP Paribas reiterates that:
1) Already last June it was announced that French banks had been put under credit watch for possible downgrade.
2) Moody’s final decisions have not been communicated.
3) The event of a potential downgrade must be analysed: the overall evolution of ratings in the sector should be taken into account and the ratings of each bank should be compared with its main international peers. The benchmark of ratings for the 3 agencies clearly shows that BNP Paribas remains among the top-rated banks.
In June, when French banks were put under credit watch, the main explanation was their exposure to Greek debt.
BNP Paribas reiterates that its exposure to Greek sovereign debt is €3.5 billion after a provisions of 0,5 billion. Moreover, the Group has very little exposure to the Greek banking sector.
BNP Paribas generated €12 billion of pre-tax income in 2010 and €7.3 billion reported for the first half of 2011.