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BNP Paribas posts record Q1 profits

BNP Paribas has followed in the footsteps of its French rivals in announcing record first quarter net profits, with France's largest bank also benefiting from increased earnings from its investment banking business.

For the first three months of the year, the bank saw net profits rise by 17 per cent compared with the same time last year, up from $2.2 billion to $2.57 billion.

Meanwhile, overall revenue rose 22 per cent to $8.7 billion, and gross operating profit saw a 20 per cent rise, reaching $3.78 billion.

However, despite benefiting from boosts to trading and underwriting revenue from its investment banking business, BNP's growth in earnings was not as impressive as that of its fellow French banks, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale.

Recent rises in global stock markets together with increased corporate finance activity has meant that the big financial institutions both in Europe and the US have enjoyed excellent first quarters, with banks routinely exceeding analysts' estimates of profitability.