French Stocks Decline, Paced by Credit Agricole, BNP Paribas; Nexity Gains

The CAC 40 fell 63.53, or 1.7 percent, to 3,641.79 in Paris. The SBF 120 Index dropped 1.6 percent to 2,697.14.

The following are among the most active stocks in Paris today.

Credit Agricole SA (ACA FP), the country’s largest bank by branches, retreated 2.6 percent to 9.25 euros as a gauge for European banks dropped for a second day.

Separately, France expects to raise “several hundred million euros” from a new tax on banks that it is planning in conjunction with the U.K. and Germany, the finance ministry said.

Finance Minister Christine Lagarde’s reported comments in the Wall Street Journal that the tax would raise 1 billion euros ($1.23 billion) were the result of a “misunderstanding,” a spokesman for Lagarde said today.

BNP Paribas SA (BNP FP), France’s largest bank, fell 2.2 percent to 48.29 euros.

Cesar SA (CSAR FP) surged 3.6 percent to 29 cents. The costume maker reported an increase in fourth-quarter revenue to 10.4 million euros from 7.91 million euros and forecast a return to profitability from 2011.

Nexity SA (NXI FP) gained for a second day this week, rising 1.7 percent to 23.34 euros. The French property developer said it plans to buy back and cancel shares equivalent to 4.5 percent of its capital.

Prismaflex International (PRS FP) climbed 6.7 percent to 6.71 euros. The French maker of materials for outdoor advertising said its full-year net loss narrowed to about 350,000 euros ($461,000) from 720,000 euros a year earlier.

Total SA (FP FP), the stock with the biggest weighting on the CAC 40, lost 2.1 percent to 39.25 euros, extending yesterday’s 1.6 percent decline. Crude oil fell after a U.S. government report showed an unexpected increase in inventories.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Haigh in London at

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