French bank SocGen cuts targets after suffering market downturn hit

[PARIS] France's third largest listed bank Societe Generale cut its profitability target after a market downturn hit its investment and corporate banking unit during the fourth quarter.

The bank expects its return on tangible equity to be between 9-10 per cent in 2020, down from a previous target of 11.5 per cent. Societe Generale also said it would not meet its 3 per cent revenue growth target.

The bank cut its forecasts after revenue fell 6.3 per cent in the fourth quarter to 5.93 billion euros (S$9.13 billion), in line with analyst forecasts collected by Infront Data.

The company's corporate and investment banking unit saw its profit fall by more than half during the quarter as a result of a general market downturn.

Following the dismal performance of its market activities, Societe Generale - like its cross-town rival BNP Paribas - has decided to cut 500 million euros in costs at its corporate and investment banking arm. The bank will also sell more assets than planned.

Societe Generale also replaced Frank Drouet, the head of market activities, by the deputy chief risk officer Jean-Francois Gregoire.


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