French bank BNP Paribas SA (BNP.FR) reported Friday 9.6 percent rise in profits in the first quarter from a year ago, boosted by the sale of more than half of its stake in real estate firm Klepierre.
It said profit rose to 2.87 billion euros ($3.77 billion) from 2.62 billion euros a year ago. The revenue declined 15 percent to 9.89 billion euros from a year ago following the accounting charge of 800 million euros and sovereign bond sales losses of 142 million euros.
The bank is in the process of restructuring its business in order to satisfy the stricter bank regulations put in place to meet the economic slowdown and the Eurozone debt crisis.
As part of achieving this objective, it has plans to cut down on risk taking and meet tougher capital requirements. In March, the bank raised 1.5 billion euros by selling more than half its stake in Klepierre to Simon Property Group.
The bank's core Tier 1 ratio, which is a measure of bank's financial strength, climbed to 10.4 percent from 9.6 percent under the Basel 2.5 regulation. BNP has set the target of 9 percent core Tier 1 capital ratio under the stricter Basel III regulations for January 1, 2013.
The Klepierre deal lifted ratio by 0.32 percentage points and also reduced the risk-weighted assets by around 25 billion euros. In another deal, the bank had sold a $9.5 billion portfolio of energy loans to Wells Fargo & Co.
In its plan to adapt its business to the stringent regulatory environment last year, the bank cut 1,400 jobs in its investment banking division.