BNP Paribas earnings slump on Greek debt

PARIS (AP) — BNP Paribas says its earnings slumped by half in the fourth quarter as France’s largest bank suffered a (euro) 567 million ($747 million) loss on its holdings on Greek government debt amid last autumn’s intensifying European sovereign debt crisis.

The bank said in a statement Wednesday it made (euro) 765 million in the three months to Dec. 31, down from (euro) 1.55 billion a year earlier.

BNP Paribas said that to offset the ongoing crisis it has slashed its holdings of sovereign debt by over a quarter and shrunk its medium- and long-term dollar financing needs by $53 billion, while boosting its loss provisions to cover a full 75 percent of its total exposure to Greek government debt.

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