BNP Paribas has reported a 4.4 percent rise in quarterly profit, topping analysts' expectations. As Laura Frykberg reports, a surge in fixed income and equities trading helped offset weaker retail banking in France and Italy where revenue fell.
The trend continues - another bank has beaten analysts' expectations - this time it's France's biggest. BNP Paribas has reported a 4.4 percent rise in quarterly profit to 1.9 billion euros. Weaker retail banking in France and Italy was offset by a surge in fixed income and equities trading. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JAMES HUGHES, CHIEF MARKET ANALYST, GKFX, SAYING: "There's been a tremendous rise in equity markets due to the rally from Donald Trump's election and a lot of the banking stocks and the investment arms of the banking companies are seeing good performance in those equity banking areas." BNP's global markets division had even more reason to celebrate. It outperformed rivals with a 33 percent rise in revenue - the average increase among its European peers was just 4 percent. It also saw a "significant pick-up in client business" at a time when France was experiencing some big political uncertainties. BNP's shares rose slightly after the results - and the French presidential election on Sunday could help too. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JAMES HUGHES, CHIEF MARKET ANALYST, GKFX, SAYING: "If that run off does go to that and the pro-European Macron wins that can only be good news for banking stocks and not just good news for the banking stocks in terms of regulation and in terms of staying with the EU but also in terms of markets." Rate hikes in the US, a recovery in Europe and some progress towards Brexit have all helped US and European banks in recent months. French lenders in particular are hoping the party won't be spoiled by any home grown shocks.