Europe Top News and Analysis France


  • The euro's exchange rate is shaped by the market but excessive volatility is unwelcome, EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said on Wednesday as the euro hit record highs against the dollar.

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    The week started and finished with news of the nationalization of British troubled bank Northern Rock, ending a five-month period of uncertainty about the bank’s future. In between, results from banks caused investors ecstasy or agony.

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    Volatility will continue to be the name of the game in European stock markets next week, as jittery investors fear more surprises from the banking sector, analysts said on Friday.

  • The U.S. embassy in Belgrade burns after masked attackers broke into the building and set an office on fire at the end of a massive protest against Western-backed Kosovo independence, in the Serbian capital, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008. More than 150,000 Serbs gathered at the rally vowing to retake the territory which is viewed as Serbia's religious and national heartland.

    Serb rioters broke into the U.S. Embassy and set fire to an office after a massive protest against Kosovo's independence that drew an estimated 150,000 people.

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    An internal investigation by Societe Generale into a massive trading loss blamed on a single trader has found fault in the bank's oversight system and confirmed that the trader acted alone.

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    Europe's biggest states recognised the independence of Kosovo on Monday, ending hours of suspense after Prime Minister Hashim Thaci assured his new republic that Western recognition would come "any minute".

  • German banks may face further write-downs given the difficult market situation, Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Josef Ackermann told Germany's Bild newspaper in an interview published on Monday.

  • German and French economic growth more than halved in the fourth quarter indicating about 0.3 percent growth for the euro-zone.

  • French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis on Tuesday reported a 6.9 percent rise in fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share and predicted a 7 percent gain for 2008 at a constant euro/dollar exchange rate.

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    The European Central Bank kept its main rate on hold at 4 percent as expected on Thursday, despite mounting pressure for an easing in monetary policy to help avert a global recession.

  • The first e-mail message arrived in Société Générale’s offices on Nov. 7. The surveillance office at Eurex, one of Europe’s biggest exchanges, alerted a compliance officer at the bank that for seven months a trader named Jérôme Kerviel had engaged in not just one but “several transactions” that had raised red flags.

  • A senior adviser to French President Nicolas Sarkozy has told French paper Le Parisien that France remains against any hostile bid for Societe Generale, the French bank hit by a trading scandal.

  • Societe Generale, the French bank hit by a rogue trader scandal, was studying bid defence options on Friday as a newspaper said a second domestic rival had hired advisers to consider a takeover.

  • It is a feature of French business life that politicians feel they should comment widely on and influence the outcome of corporate decisions. This time they should butt out.

  • The French economy still provides an attractive arena for international investment, Philippe Favre, president of Invest in France, told “Squawk Box Europe” Thursday, despite the recent trading scandal at Societe Generale.

  • The following is a timeline of events concerning the alleged fraud at Societe Generale (SocGen) that caused $7 billion of losses at the French bank.

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    It will take at least a year to assess the impact that the fallout of the U.S. subprime crisis has on the European banking sector, but investors can bottom fish for some good opportunities, analysts said on Monday.

  • Jerome Kerviel, Societe Generale bank trader accused of fraud.

    Societe Generale said Sunday that a trader who evaded all its controls to bet $73.5 billion -- more than the French bank's market worth -- on European markets hacked computers and "combined several fraudulent methods" to cover his tracks, causing billions in losses.

  • Jerome Kerviel, Societe Generale bank trader accused of fraud.

    A rogue trader who cost France's Societe Generale bank more than $7 billion by making bad stock market bets was taken into custody on Saturday for questioning, judicial officials said.

  • Jerome Kerviel, Societe Generale bank trader accused of fraud.

    A day after Societe Generale unveiled a fraud that cost it 4.9 billion euros ($7.18 billion), France's media was left wondering about a rogue trader described variously as a genius of fraud and a troubled introvert.