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Last Updated: Friday, 17 August 2007, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
BNP's sub-prime risks 'limited'
BNP Paribas sign
BNP: "Direct exposure to sub-prime appears limited"
BNP Paribas says that its exposure to the US sub-prime mortgage market is limited and the losses from it will be manageable for the French bank.

Last week it froze 1.6bn euros ($2.2bn; 1.1bn) worth of funds citing the problems in the sub-prime market.

Earlier, the French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said she would ask BNP's chief executive to explain how the bank manages sub-prime risk.

Sub-prime loans are ones offered to people with inferior credit records.

The problems with the exposure of major banks to sub-prime debt have been behind the falls on global stock exchanges in recent weeks.

In an interview in the French daily Le Parisien, Ms Lagarde said, "This is a brutal correction in markets that has its roots in the real estate submarket in the United States."

"There have been severe excesses over there in this area," she added.

But BNP has not been too heavily involved in the area, according to Alain Papiasse, its head of asset management and services.

"The direct exposure to sub-prime appears limited and any losses should be manageable for the bank," he said.

"The risk to quarterly earnings is zero," he added.


SEE ALSO
Timeline: Sub-prime problems
16 Aug 07 |  Business
ECB moves to help banking sector
09 Aug 07 |  Business
Mortgage concerns hit US markets
10 Aug 07 |  Business
BNP Paribas announces jobs plans
31 May 07 |  Glasgow and West
Paribas fined 350,000 over fraud
10 May 07 |  Business

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