- BNP Paribas beat analyst expectations with fourth-quarter net income of 1.6 billion euros ($1.9 billion).
- The bank is more upbeat about the remainder of the year, saying it expects the cost of risk to drop.
- The French lender will pay out a dividend of 1.11 euros ($1.33) per share in May.
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France’s BNP Paribas on Friday reported a 13.9% drop in fourth-quarter net income as the lender set aside more charges for loans that may turn sour due to the COVID-19 pandemic rattling economies worldwide.
The eurozone’s biggest listed lender struck a more upbeat note for 2021, however, saying it expected its cost of risk, which reflects provisions for bad loans, to drop compared to 2020, as economic activity gradually picks up in the second half.
BNP Paribas’ cost of risk rose by 65.5% to 1.59 billion euros in the final three months of 2020 versus a year earlier.
Net income fell to 1.59 billion euros – though this was higher than the average profit forecast by a poll of four analysts – while revenue fell by 4.5% to 10.83 billion euros, broadly in line with expectations.
The lender also expects costs to be flat this year while revenue should slightly increase. (Reporting by Matthieu Protard and Marc Angrand; Editing by Sarah White)
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