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BNP Paribas profits climb in first quarter

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Paris (AFP)

French bank BNP Paribas on Thursday reported a surge in profits in the first three months of 2019, boosted by the sale of a chunk of its life insurance company in India.

France's biggest bank saw net profits jump 22 percent to 1.91 billion euros ($2.14 billion) between January and March compared to the previous year, it said in an earnings statement.

The result, which was slightly below the two billion euros predicted by analysts interviewed by data company Factset, was bolstered by the sale of 14.3 percent of SBI Life in India for 838 million euros.

Excluding such exceptional items, the net profit was actually down by 0.2 percent.

Revenue meanwhile grew 3.2 percent in the first quarter to 11.14 billion euros.

Chief executive Jean-Laurent Bonnafe said the bank had "delivered a good level of result this quarter".

In particular he highlighted "an upturn in client business at CIB," the bank's corporate outfit.

Revenues at the Corporate and Institutional Bank, which had struggled late last year, climbed 3.5 percent to three billion euros.

The bank's share price rose one percent after the opening of the Paris stock market, which was down 0.5 percent.

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