Noyer Says Nationalizing French Banks Would Make ‘No Sense’
Bank of France Governor Christian Noyer said it would make no sense for the French government to nationalize the country’s three top lenders after their share prices plunged and two of them had their credit ratings cut.
Moody’s Investors Service lowered Societe Generale (GLE) SA’s debt and deposit ratings by one level today to Aa3 from Aa2 with a negative outlook and Credit Agricole SA (ACA)’s long-term ratings to Aa2 from Aa1. BNP Paribas (BNP) SA’s Aa2 long-term rating was kept on review for a possible cut.
“It’s relatively good news,” Noyer said on RTL radio in Paris. “It was a limited downgrade. It was two banks out of three. All Moody’s has done is put them on the same level as other rating agencies and at the same level as other major European banks.”
The three banks’ share prices have dropped this month on concern that money-market funds are becoming reluctant to lend to them because of their exposure to Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis.
“They don’t need fresh funds, though like all banks they need to accumulate capital to have the best possible defenses,” Noyer said. Nationalization “is something that makes no sense. It’s totally surreal.”
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