BNP Paribas’s record penalties for violating US sanctions have led to a surge in France’s current account deficit. the deficit more than doubled to e7.4 billion (R105.7bn) in June from e3.3bn in May, the Bank of France said yesterday. Stripping out BNP Paribas’s fine, the deficit fell to e3.1bn. On June 30 US authorities fined France’s largest bank $8.97bn (R95.7bn) after it pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to breaches of sanctions against Sudan and other countries blacklisted by the US. The bank was also barred from certain dollar-clearing operations from next year. – Bloomberg