BNP Paribas still interested in eastern Europe, despite Ukraine: CFO

BNP Paribas still plans to build on its presence in emerging European countries Poland and Turkey, even as it pulls back from Ukraine, the bank's chief financial officer told CNBC on Wednesday.

France's biggest bank by market value announced earlier this week it would cut its Ukrainian staff by 1,600 by 2015 and shut 84 branches, following the annexing of Ukraine's Crimea region by Russia last week. The West has responded by instigating visa bans and asset freezes against a group of Ukrainians and Russians, and banning Russia from the G-8 group of industrialized countries unless its alters its stance.

However, CFO Lars Machenil said BNP Paribas was undeterred from emerging Europe in general, although its main areas of growth were the U.S., Asia and Germany. He said BNP Paribas remained interested in growing its presence in Turkey and Poland in particular, and would continue in these countries for the mid-to-long term.

"These are dynamic areas and we are very pleased that we can double our footprint in Poland to around 4 percent, 4 percent being a kind of minimal stepping stone that you need as a springboard for growth," Machenil told CNBC on Wednesday.

Regarding Turkey, he said: "I have been focusing on Turkey since 2002, when it had its own banking crisis and it basically adapted itself very well — and sailed through all the recent crises in an appropriate way."

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