President Donald Trump said Monday he's in no rush to respond to a coordinated attack that hit Saudi Arabia's oil industry over the weekend.Marketsread more
The price of oil could go sharply higher, depending on the duration of the disruption at Saudi oil facilities and whether there is a military response.Powering the Futureread more
Energy stocks, one of the worst-performing sectors this year, spiked Monday after an attack on Saudi Arabia's heart of oil production Saturday sent oil prices soaring.Marketsread more
The Saudi-led military coalition battling Yemen's Houthi movement said on Monday that the attack on Saudi oil plants was carried out by Iranian weapons and did not originate...Oilread more
After a series of setbacks on the road to an initial public offering, the parent company of real estate start-up WeWork is delaying the move, sources told CNBC Monday.Technologyread more
"The United States military, with our interagency team, is working with our partners to address this unprecedented attack and defend the international rules-based order that...Politicsread more
Crude oil's spike following attacks on Saudi Arabia's energy supply has experts weighing whether or not the gains will last.ETF Edgeread more
"In the old days, the averages would've plunged on this kind of oil shock. I know because I've lived through a bunch of them, starting in 1973," Jim Cramer says.Mad Money with Jim Cramerread more
Traders in the fed funds futures market on Monday were pricing in a 34% chance that the Fed will stay put on rates.The Fedread more
The meeting comes amid months of stalled trade talks between Washington and New Delhi, resulting in both sides taking retaliatory measures.Asia Politicsread more
Gas prices could rise by about 20 cents per gallon "starting tomorrow," oil analyst Andy Lipow says Monday.Oil and Gasread more
Continued pain at Societe Generale's domestic retail division and a decline in the profitability of its global banking arm during the second quarter was partially mitigated by strong growth in the French lender's overseas retail banking operations.
Here are the highlights from the earnings release:
"We have taken an advantage from the improving environment in central and eastern Europe, from the dynamic in Africa which has compensated the still negative interest rate environment in the euro zone and the low market volatility," Severin Cabannes, deputy chief executive officer (deputy CEO) of the French bank told CNBC on Wednesday.
The lender's traditional domestic retail business continues to be plagued by the challenge of persistently low interest rates which sent net interest income down by 6.6 percent during the quarter versus a year ago. It also reported that it had set aside 300 million euros to pay for any potential legal costs, further weighing on profits during the quarter.
Meanwhile, costs at the division shot up by 3.7 percent year-on-year, outpacing the higher end of earlier guidance, as efforts to transform the business continued apace.
Key among such efforts are the pivot towards a more commission-based business model to ensure increased stability in revenue generation and the broad roll-out of a digitalization plan to improve the bank's efficiency and cost profile. While commissions edged up by 5 percent during the quarter, the digitalization plan expanded its scope and ambition — both within the French Retail Banking division and throughout the rest of the firm.
According to Cabannes, Societe Generale delivered, "an increase in our investment program to accelerate the digitalization of our client relationship first, our internal processes automation and the development of new services and products in specific parts."
The absence of legacy structures and bureaucracy remains a key factor in allowing Societe Generale to move more nimbly in newer markets and more fully embrace the digital banking revolution.
"In metro markets like France we have to transform the existing model," explained the deputy CEO, alluding to the slower pace of structural change in French retail banking compared to the bank's other businesses.
"The good news in emerging markets like in Africa or Central Europe or even in Russia is that we can go directly to e.g. mobile banking which is exactly what we do and we are offering to our clients directly the digital offering," he added.
The lender's growing reliance on its retail operations in overseas markets was demonstrated by the International Retail Banking & Financial Services division making the largest contribution of the bank's three core divisions to both quarterly and first half net profit. The trend towards pursuing opportunities in markets such as Africa, Russia and central and eastern Europe is set to persist, according to Cabannes.
"In the future, it's the area where the growth potential is bigger and we will allocate scarce resources to that part, of course," he revealed.
This despite the more fragile geopolitical and economic backdrops in such emerging markets which the deputy CEO acknowledged could create heightened uncertainties. Cabannes noted that it was still too early to tell what the increased U.S. sanctions would mean for its business in Russia - which currently constitutes around 10 percent of operations - but that it would create an "additional complexity to manage."
The bank's previously announced four-year plan - to reduce branches and headcount as a result of the digitalization and automation drive - is still "completely on track" according to Cabannes.
With regards to further headcount shuffling due to Brexit, the French banking veteran said that Societe Generale had the luxury of not being forced to make drastic decisions before receiving more clarity on the final outcome given it benefits from having hubs in both Paris and London.
"We are not in a hurry to decide that but the order of magnitude of the number of people in the hard Brexit scenario is this number between 300 and 400 from London to Paris," he said, confirming the potential staffing changes alluded to by CEO Frederic Oudea last month.