BNP Paribas targets stronger profitability, dividends by 2020 as Q4 profits rise

[PARIS] BNP Paribas set out plans on Tuesday to deliver an increased dividend payout and an improved return on equity by 2020, hoping that headwinds it faces, such as low interest rates and regulatory pressures, would ease by then.

France's biggest bank unveiled some details of the 2017-2020 plan as it reported a lower-than-expected rise in fourth-quarter net profit, weighed down by a goodwill impairment for its Polish unit BGZ.

BNP Paribas' fourth-quarter net income rose to 1.44 billion euros (US$1.5 billion), more than doubling from 665 million a year ago, although the result came in below the average of analyst estimates of 1.50 billion in a Reuters poll.

Group revenues rose 2 per cent to 10.66 billion euros, above the poll average of 10.48 billion, as a surge in trading activity helped corporate and institutional banking revenues rise by 8 percent.

BNP Paribas' results were published on its website.


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