French Stocks Retreat: BNP Paribas, Societe Generale Drop as Accor Gains

France’s CAC 40 Index dropped for a second day this week, falling 48.98, or 1.2 percent, to 3,977.67 in Paris. The SBF 120 Index lost 1 percent.

The following shares rose or fell in Paris. Stock symbols are in parentheses.

Accor SA (AC FP) rose 46 cents, or 1.1 percent, to 43.10 euros, a second day of gains. Europe’s largest hotelier said first-quarter sales rose 3.1 percent to 1.67 billion euros ($2.25 billion) from 1.62 billion euros a year earlier.

ArcelorMittal (MT NA) lost 91 cents, or 2.8 percent, to 31.95 euros, the lowest in almost a month, as a drop in metals prices weighed on European commodity stocks.

AuFeminin.com (FEM FP) surged 1.86 euros, or 14 percent, to 15.41 euros, the highest since May 2008. The operator of Internet sites targeted at women and controlled by publisher Axel Springer AG said first-quarter net income rose 97 percent to 1.9 million euros from 947,000 euros a year earlier.

Aures Technologies (AURS FP) advanced 35 cents, or 1.4 percent, to 26.25 euros, a third straight gain. The distributor of automated teller machines and car-parking pay points said first-quarter sales rose 29 percent to 7.4 million euros, boosted by its business in France and Germany.

BNP Paribas SA (BNP FP), France’s largest bank, dropped 1.90 euros, or 3.4 percent, to 53.98 euros, erasing yesterday’s gain. The International Monetary Fund is recommending the Group of 20 nations tax financial institutions’ non-deposit liabilities and the sum of profit and compensation to help pay for future bailouts of the industry.

The two levies, with those on liabilities taking priority, are part of a preliminary report the G-20 requested last year to review how the financial industry can help pay for government efforts to repair the banking system. While the IMF will deliver a final report to heads of state and government in June, France and the U.K. have already backed the idea of a tax on banks.

“These proposals need to be taken seriously,” Credit Suisse Group AG analysts wrote in a note today.

Separately, the cost of insuring against Greece defaulting on its debt surged to a record. Societe Generale (GLE FP), France’s second-largest bank, lost 1.13 euros, or 2.5 percent, to 44.29 euros. Credit Agricole SA (ACA FP), the biggest by branches, fell 30.5 cents, or 2.4 percent, to 12.66 euros.

Cie. Generale de Geophysique-Veritas (GA FP) advanced for a third day, gaining 52 cents, or 2.2 percent, to 23.87 euros. The world’s largest seismic surveyor was raised to “overweight” from “neutral” at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Gemalto NV (GTO FP) dropped for the first time this week, falling 84 cents, or 2.5 percent, to 32.28 euros. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. downgraded the smartcard maker to “neutral” from “conviction buy.”

NicOx SA (COX FP) soared 93 cents, or 15 percent, to 7.33 euros, the highest since Oct. 12. The French biotechnology company was upgraded to “buy” from “reduce” at Natixis Securities.

Parrot SA (PARRO FP) gained for a second day, increasing 36 cents, or 3.1 percent, to 12.00 euros. Goldman Sachs upgraded the designer of embedded speech-based applications to “neutral” from “sell.”

Produits Chimiques Auxiliaires et de Synthese (PCA FP) climbed 10 cents, or 3 percent, to 3.40 euros, a second gain this week. The contract manufacturer of pharmaceutical ingredients for drugmakers including Sanofi-Aventis said first- quarter sales rose 12 percent to 41.4 million euros. Dynaction SA (DYT FP), which owns most of PCAS, rose 4.2 percent to 8.40 euros.

Robertet SA (RBT FP) increased 1.50 euros, or 1.6 percent, to 95.00 euros, a fourth straight gain. The maker of liquid flavorings, perfumes and aromatic ingredients said 2009 net income rose 8.5 percent to 14.4 million euros, while first- quarter sales increased 13 percent to 84.6 million euros.

Societe Bic SA (BB FP) surged 4.60 euros, or 8.1 percent, to 61.22 euros, the biggest gain since August last year. The maker of pens and shavers said in a statement on RNS that first- quarter net income rose 32 percent to 35.4 million euros.

Spir Communication SA (SPI FP) dropped for a fourth session, losing 90 cents, or 4 percent, to 21.60 euros. The publisher of classified-ad newspapers and leaflets said first- quarter sales declined 11 percent to 141.2 million euros, hurt by a drop in its free-newspaper business.

Thermocompact SA (THER FP) advanced 60 cents, or 6.4 percent, to 10.00 euros, the biggest gain since Jan. 6. The supplier of cable-coatings for the electronics industry said first-quarter sales rose 56 percent to 14.8 million euros, boosted by demand in Asia and the U.S., and forecast a “very sharp improvement” in the first half.

To contact the reporter on this story: Francesca Cinelli in Milan at fcinelli@bloomberg.net.

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