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PARIS, Feb 9 (Reuters) - French bank Societe Generale said on Thursday it would float a stake in its vehicle leasing unit ALD, as part of efforts to diversify further away from retail banking as low interest rates sap revenue at home.
SocGen, France's second-biggest listed bank, reported a smaller than expected earnings drop in the fourth quarter, as a lower cost of risk that reflects provisions for bad loans helped to offset falling revenue in domestic retail banking.
Fourth-quarter net income fall 40.5 percent to 390 million euros ($416.5 million), although that result beat the average analysts' net income estimate of 354 million in a Reuters poll.
Revenues rose 1.3 percent to 6.13 billion euros, above the poll average of 5.99 billion.
$1 = 0.9364 euros Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta