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ECB Noyer-not worried by French bank risk in Greece

Source: Reuters - Fri 9th Apr 2010

European Central Bank council member Christian Noyer said on Friday he had "no particular worries" about the exposure of French banks to the economic problems of Greece, but added that banking authorities were keeping a close watch on the situation.

European stock markets fell on Thursday due to persistentconcerns over Greece's fiscal deficit, and the Bank forInternational Settlements (BIS) has highlighted French banks ashaving one of the largest exposures to Greece.

However, Noyer said the exposure of French banks to Greece was a "normal economic exposure."

He said the overall level was affected by the fact that French banks had significant exposure to Greek clients through their local branches and that otherwise, their holdings of Greek assets were not abnormally large.

"French banks' holding of Greek sovereign debt is relatively small," Noyer, who is also governor of the Bank of France, told reporters at a news conference.

France's biggest retail bank Credit Agricole owns Greek bank Emporiki, while Societe Generale controls Greek lender Geniki.

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