BNP Sees Surprise Profit Gain, Remains Cautious on Iran
BNP Paribas SA posted a surprise increase in first-quarter profit, with declining provisions for bad loans helping outweigh a slump in trading revenue. Net income advanced to 1.81 billion euros ($2.1 billion) from 1.65 billion euros a year earlier, the Paris-based bank said in a statement Tuesday. European companies flocking back to Iran are doing so without their favored lenders at their side. Less than two years after BNP agreed to pay a record $9 billion U.S. fine in part for dealings with Iran, many of the continent’s biggest banks remain unwilling to go anywhere near Iran-related business for fear that they will run afoul of remaining U.S. sanctions on the country. Bloomberg's Caroline Connan speaks to the bank's Chief Financial Officer Lars Machenil.