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French president Francois Hollande has done more than most leaders to ensure that the country remains in the papers, although arguably not always for the best of reasons. Once again he is featured, this time because he is in Washington visiting Barack Obama in an effort to forge stronger relations with the US.
French stocks are doing something to help move the CAC higher, with Societe Generale posting some very good figures. The French bank has been able to improve its tier-one debt ratios and is well ahead of any Basel III requirements; so much so it feels able to reward shareholders with a dividend.
As with most European banks, SocGen has had a number of issues to tackle with regards to financial penalties from regulatory bodies. One area it has been able to improve has been exposure to the problematic Greek and Egyptian markets. Although this might not have been very neighbourly in an EU sense, but it has proven more prudent financially.