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Earnings

Trading rebound helps France's SocGen swing back to profit

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Societe Generale is seen on the headquarters at the financial and business district of La Defense near Paris, France, February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) - French bank Societe Generale SOGN.PA swung back to profit in the third quarter, helped by a recovery in its markets business, giving a boost to chief executive Frederic Oudea who was under pressure after sharp trading losses earlier in the year.

Its shares jumped 6%, as results came above expectations.

Oudea has accelerated initiatives to overhaul SocGen’s retail and markets activities after two consecutive quarterly losses. “The solidity of the balance sheet...enables us to approach the coming months with confidence and build our new strategic roadmap on sound foundations,” Oudea said in a statement.

Societe Generale said on Thursday its third quarter net income rose by 0.9% from the same period of last year to 862 million euros ($1.01 billion), while revenue fell2.9% to 5.81 billion euros. Equity trading revenue rose 5.1% year-on-year while fixedincome trading revenue rose 9.4% in the latest quarter.

“Equities revenues rebound more than expected, dividend accrual is a positive surprise - all this should be supportive for share price,” analysts at Jefferies said in a note.

The bank put equity and credit structured products businesses under review earlier in the year after overall operations were hit by market volatility and dividend cancellations due to the coronavirus crisis.

It said on Thursday it was reducing its exposure to the most complex products.

($1 = 0.8536 euros)

Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva and Matthieu Protard; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Muralikumar Anantharaman

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