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The latest results from BNP Paribas prove that good things come to those who wait.

The bank, France’s largest, sat out the bout of mega-deals that marked the peak of the bubble—namely, the takeover of ABN Amro by a consortium of RBS, Fortis and Santander. Although Santander escaped relatively unscathed from the ill-fated deal, the takeover marked the beginning of the end for RBS and Fortis, both of which are in various stages of being carved up by regulators. BNP Paribas snapped up pieces of Fortis earlier this year. In its first full quarter under the French bank’s umbrella, Fortis accounted for around 21% of revenues and 24% of BNP Paribas’s third-quarter profits.

Meanwhile, Société Générale reported a doubling of net profit in its third-quarter results. With growing clout in investment banking and solid retail franchises, French banks are well positioned to take on a more prominent role in the regional financial scene in the years ahead.

Read more at Financial Services Briefing: “Vive la différence” (November 9th)

French banks 11-13-09