Credit Agricole hit by Greece and Italy charges

Credit Agricole Credit Agricole is France's third-largest listed bank

French bank group Credit Agricole has reported a dip in profits following the continuing problems in the eurozone.

The group, which includes French regional banks, saw second quarter net income fall 2.1% to 863m euros ($1.1bn; £683m) from the same period last year.

At the Credit Agricole bank alone, net profit sank to 111m euros from 339m euros. It took another 370m-euro charge on Greek debt at its Emporiki unit.

There was also a 427m-euro charge on its stake in Intesa Sanpaolo of Italy.

'Uncertain climate'

Credit Agricole bought the Greek bank Emporiki in 2006 and has made extensive writedowns of Greek debt in recent quarters.

The bank hopes to wrap up talks on the sale of Emporiki within "a matter of weeks", chief executive Jean-Paul Chifflet said.

Jean-Marie Sander, the bank's chairman, said that the bank's profits reflected its resilience in a "highly deteriorated and uncertain European macroeconomic climate".

Credit Agricole, which is France's third-biggest listed bank, has been slimming down its investment banking operations and selling off assets from loans to business units as it returns to focus on retail banking.

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