SocGen betting on corporate, investment banking


IN a new building on the edge of Paris, Societe Generale SA moved 3,000 employees this year onto five trading floors each longer than a football field. The glass-faced edifice, roughly the size of the city's Centre Pompidou, signals an increasing reliance on corporate and investment banking, even as many of the firm's biggest European competitors scale back their securities businesses.

Frederic Oudea, chief executive officer since 2008, is counting on the division to propel profit as economic growth falters in France and Russia, its largest consumer-banking markets. The corporate finance and capital-markets businesses accounted for almost half of the profit from operating units in the first...


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