By Simon Clark 

BNP Paribas SA's net profit held steady in the third quarter as income from trading securities offset a decline in retail banking earnings.

The Paris-based bank said net profit for the three months to Sept. 30 was EUR1.89 billion, the equivalent of $2.2 billion, slightly down from the same period in 2019. Pretax profit from the bank's global markets unit soared 67% to EUR648 million.

European banks have reported better-than-expected results for the third quarter as the coronavirus pandemic hit the economy. It's unclear if the progress can continue as France, Germany and other nations lock down their populations to stem soaring infection rates.

BNP Paribas Chief Executive Jean-Laurent Bonnafé said in a statement the bank was demonstrating high resilience in extraordinary times.

France and Germany announced new lockdowns last week and the U.K. government said England is set to follow this week under the pressure of mounting cases and deaths. French President Emmanuel Macron has announced tough restrictions requiring people to remain inside their homes while restaurants, bars and shops deemed nonessential close.

BNP Paribas said provisions for bad loans rose 47% to EUR1.25 billion in the third quarter from the same period last year. The provisions declined from the previous quarter, in which EUR1.45 billion was set aside.

The French bank joined London-based Barclays PLC and Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank AG in reporting strong results from trading and investment banking during the third quarter.

Write to Simon Clark at simon.clark@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 03, 2020 02:24 ET (07:24 GMT)

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