Moody’s downgrades top French banks

SHARES:

04:30 PM September 14th, 2011

September 14th, 2011 04:30 PM

PARIS—Moody’s ratings agency said Wednesday it had downgraded by one notch top French banks Societe Generale and Credit Agricole while leaving BNP Paribas on negative watch.

Credit Agricole’s rating slid from Aa1 to Aa2 while Societe Generale was cut from Aa2 to Aa3.

Shares in all three banks have plummeted in recent weeks on exposure to Greek sovereign debt and turbulence caused by the eurozone debt crisis.

Although BNP Paribas held on to its rating, the biggest French bank was kept on negative watch for possible downgrade later.

Moody’s said the Credit Agricole downgrade was directly related to the bank’s exposure to Greece.

For Societe Generale, the move was linked to a reevaluation of the amount of French state aid that would be made available to the lender in the event of a crisis.

Moody’s warned in June that it was looking at French banks with a view to possible downgrade because of their exposure to the Greek financial crisis.

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