BNP Paribas: Funding to pay US fine

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Paris - BNP Paribas has ample funding to back the fine and penalties it must pay under settlements with US authorities over sanctions busting, the French bank's top executives told analysts on a conference call on Tuesday.

“Our liquidity situation, we always guided it as being ample,” said Chief Financial Officer Lars Machenil.

“At Q1 we had an overall excess of stable funding of 100 billion in euros out of which 50 billion was in US dollars. Yesterday when I looked into the systems..., that figure was basically unchanged at the end of the (second) quarter. This should allow having relevant cash for the settlement.”

Machenil also said there was “no rush” to seek the additional tier 1 funding that is seen as a key measure of bank stability as a result of having to pay the fine, set at almost $9 billion (6.6 billion euros) under a settlement announced late on Monday in the United States.

“It does not mean that we might not do something opportunistically, but there is no rush for Tier 1,” he said.

Machenil also added that the bank plans to offer cash dividends for this year at 1.5 euro per share, unchanged from 2013.

The payout would be about 50 cents below what it might have been using a predicted payout ratio of 40.8 percent of earnings, he added.

This will help keep core equity tier 1 ratio at around 10 percent. - Reuters

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