PARIS Feb 9 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)