BNP Paribas was among three French banks cut by Standard & Poor’s on concern that their home market may be hurt by prolonged economic weakness in Europe and a housing slump.
Bloomberg reports that BNP, the nation’s biggest bank, had its long-term counterparty credit grade lowered one level to A+ from AA-, S&P said Thursday in a statement. The ratings company also revised its outlook to negative from stable for 10 other French banks, including Credit Agricole and Societe Generale.
In the meantime, the news organisation says that Macquarie Group, Australia’s largest investment bank, said first-half profit rose 18% from a year earlier on increased earnings from its fixed income, currency and commodity trading business.
Net income advanced in the six months to September 30 to $374m.
Reuters reports that a senior bank executive also confirmed that the bank has no plans to sell its Asia cash equities business, and while it wants to invest its surplus capital, no acquisitions are imminent.
Finally, the news agency reports that tougher jail sentences would help Britain crack down faster on market abuse, such as the rigging of the Libor interest rate, by encouraging suspects to cooperate, the head of Britain's financial watchdog said.
'If the sentencing was higher we would have more people coming forward to us to want to cooperate with us, and that level of cooperation is what allows us to cut through these things quickly', Wheatley said.