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French court slashes damages owed by 'rogue trader' Kerviel to €1 million

Martin Bureau, AFP | French "rogue trader" Jérôme Kerviel was convicted of breach of trust, forgery and entering false data for the trades which nearly bankrupted Société Générale in 2008..

A French appeals court on Friday ordered disgraced former Societe Generale trader Jerome Kerviel to pay the bank 1 million euros in damages for multi-billion dollar losses he racked up from equity derivative trades.

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The ruling by the Versailles Court of Appeals means the government could reclaim a 2.2 billion euro ($2.47 billion) tax break that SocGen benefitted from, a move industry analysts have said would put its dividend at risk and hurt its capital ratios.

Kerviel was sentenced to three years in prison after being convicted by a Paris court in October 2010 of breach of trust and fraud over 4.9 billion euros of losses from equity derivatives trades in 2008.

Kerviel was initially ordered to repay the whole sum, but subsequent rulings have struck down that decision. In June, a public prosecutor said the bank "had left the door open" for Kerviel to act illegally.

Earlier on Friday, Junior Budget Minister Christian Eckert told Europe 1 radio: "We will act on the court judgements as soon as we know what they are."

A lawyer for SocGen said the bank had "no worries" over the tax deduction.

(REUTERS)

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