July 31 - French bank BNP Paribas unveils a plan to boost its presence Germany after fresh cost cuts failed to offset sliding quarterly earnings in markets like Italy. As Joel Flynn reports the bank's COO says new markets are key.
4.7% is today's Daily Digit in Europe -- the drop in quarterly net income at BNP Paribas. Losses on loans in Italy and investment banking weakness also meant a revenue fall of 1.8% to just under 10 billion euros. Philippe Bordenave is the bank's Chief Operating Officer. SOUNDBITE: BNP Paribas Chief Operating Officer, Philippe Bordenave, saying (English): "During the first part of the year BNP Paribas managed to be resilient in Europe and also to take advantage of some better markets in certain geographies, like some emerging markets in which we're operating, and also certain businesses that are faring better like the insurance business." The French lender is the euro zone's biggest by market value and derives more than half its revenue from France, Italy and Belgium. To combat its exposure to euro zone strugglers it's now looking to neighbour Germany, as well as Asia and the U.S.. It has no plans to set up more branches in Germany. But it will hire staff there over the next three years and chase client deposits online. Cost savings will also be stepped although BNP can be more relaxed than many of its rivals about its balance sheet strength. It's one of the best capitalised banks in Europe with a core capital ratio of 10.4 percent and a core leverage ratio of 3.4 percent.