BBC News – Credit Agricole hit by Greek debt charge

French bank Credit Agricole has reported a dip in profits following the continuing problems in Greece.

Net income in the second quarter fell 2.1% to 863m euros ($1.1bn; £683m) from the same period last year.

It took another 370m-euro charge in the quarter on Greek debt at its unit Emporiki.

Credit Agricole hopes to wrap up talks on the sale of Emporiki within “a matter of weeks”, chief executive Jean-Paul Chifflet said.

Credit Agricole bought the Greek bank Emporiki in 2006 and has made extensive writedowns of Greek debt in recent quarters.

There was also a 427m-euro impairment charge on its stake in Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo.

Jean-Marie Sander, the bank’s chairman, said that the bank’s profits reflected its resilience in a “highly deteriorated and uncertain European macroeconomic climate”.

Credit Agricole, which is France’s third-biggest listed bank, has been slimming down its investment banking operations and selling off assets from loans to business units as it returns to focus on retail banking.