August 1, 2018 / 5:27 AM / a year ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-French bank BNP Paribas' Q2 net profits beat forecasts

(Corrects net profit figure)

* BNP Paribas Q2 net dips 0.1 pct to 2.39 bln euros

* But Q2 net profit higher than forecasts and Q1 net

* Strong international financial services offset weak CIB

By Inti Landauro and Matthieu Protard

PARIS, Aug 1 (Reuters) - BNP Paribas, French largest listed bank, reported second quarter profits that beat market forecasts, as higher revenues from its diversified international financial services unit offset sluggish fixed-income trading.

Net profit fell 0.1 percent to 2.39 billion euros ($2.8 billion) compared with 2.4 billion euros in the same period last year. Four analysts polled by consultancy Inquiry Financial for Reuters expected a median profit of 2.07 billion euros.

Overall, group revenue rose 2.5 percent from the same period to 11.21 billion euros compared with a median forecast for revenues of around 10.9 billion euros.

“Revenue driven by the specialized businesses increased in the context of economic growth in Europe, despite an unfavourable exchange effect and less favourable financial markets than in the second quarter of 2017,” Chief Executive Jean-Laurent Bonnafe said in a statement.

A surge in the various businesses housed in the company’s international financial services arm — such as consumer lending, insurance or its U.S. bank BancWest— allowed BNP Paribas to recover from a weak first quarter when net profit plunged to 1.57 billion euros.

In the January-March period, plummeting revenue from fixed-income trading had impacted results. That trend continued in the second quarter, with revenue from corporate and investment banking falling 6.8 percent.

The bank attributed the weakness in fixed-income trading to certain factors in the European market, such as persistently low interest rates. The corporate and investment banking division was also hit by a weaker dollar.

Yet even though that negative trend had continued, BNP Paribas found other sources of profits elsewhere.

While those low rates have hit parts of its investment banking business, they have also conversely buoyed other businesses such as consumer lending and life insurance.

Solid economic growth in the United States also lifted BancWest’s profits. Revenue from the U.S. bank rose 22 percent in U.S. dollar terms, or 12 percent when translated into euros.

The strong performance at the international financial services arm also mitigated weakness in BNP Paribas’ French retail bank, where revenues fell 0.5 percent during the quarter.

$1 = 0.8550 euros Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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