Crédit Agricole reports loss after restructuring

RestructuringCrédit Agricole reported a net loss of €6.5 billion for 2012, following major restructuring in southern Europe.

While its asset management arm Amundi attracted net inflows of €15.2 billion, its asset servicing arm Caceis saw margins squeezed.

The French bank says in a statement it “further stepped up to refocus its assets in southern Europe”.

Losses were partly a result of the sale of its Greek subsidiary Emporiki Bank, which was completed during the second half of the year.

Crédit Agricole also sold its entire stake in Intesa Sanpaolo, a banking group in Italy, and sold its investments in BES Vida while maintaining its ownership interest in BES bank.

Its investment in Spain’s Bankinter was reduced from more than 20% to 15.1%.

“These [major strategic measures] were carried out following in-depth work to adjust to the new financial and regulatory environment and included the disposal of non-core businesses, valuation adjustments in respect of balance sheet assets and operating efficiency enhancements,” the statement says.

Its asset management arm Amundi saw net inflows of €15.2 billion, with €18.8 billion coming from institutional and corporate segments, €2 billion from third-party distributors, and €5.2 billion from employee savings schemes.

Assets under management stood at €727.4 billion at the end of December, a 10.4% rise compared to the year earlier.

Its asset servicing arm Caceis saw assets under custody rise by 10.3% to €2.5 trillion and assets under administration rise by 20.3% to 1.3 billion. Caceis group share of net income declined by 36.4% year-on-year in the fourth quarter to €25.9 billion. Crédit Agricole says the combined effect of pressure on margins and tightening spreads on cash caused this.

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