BNP Paribas SA, Societe Generale SA and Credit Agricole SA had their credit ratings cut by Moody’s Investors Service, which cited funding constraints and deteriorating economic conditions amid Europe’s debt crisis.
In a locked room on the 33rd floor of Societe Generale SA’s 36-story headquarters in western Paris, members of the bank’s fraud control team peer at their computers, scrutinizing the trades being executed by dealers in eight trading rooms on the floors below.
BNP Paribas SA and Societe Generale SA, France’s two largest banks, are trimming about 300 billion euros ($405 billion) off their balance sheets as Europe’s deepening debt crisis threatens to make them too big to save.
BNP Paribas SA and Societe Generale SA, France’s largest banks, are accelerating cuts in their 1.1 trillion-euro ($1.5 trillion) trading books to avoid going to shareholders or the government for capital.
Societe Generale SA, France’s second- largest bank, reported an 86 percent decline in third-quarter profit as losses on asset sales and a charge related to its own debt outweighed an investment-banking rebound.
Axa SA, Europe’s second-largest insurer, said first-half profit more than quadrupled on gains from asset disposals in China, Australia and New Zealand, beating estimates. Shares rose as much as 6 percent in Paris.