Magazine article American Banker

BNP Paribas Mulling Sale or IPO of First Hawaiian Unit

Magazine article American Banker

BNP Paribas Mulling Sale or IPO of First Hawaiian Unit

Article excerpt

Byline: Alan Kline

BNP Paribas is considering selling or spinning off one of its two U.S. banking subsidiaries as it aims to boost capital.

The French banking giant said Wednesday that it is exploring "alternatives" for the $18.9 billion-asset First Hawaiian Bank, "including a possible sale or initial public offering."

A sale or spinoff could help offset the capital hit BNP Paribas will take this quarter following the write down of goodwill related to its Italian corporate and consumer banking unit. That writedown is expected to reduce fourth-quarter earnings by about $983 million, the bank said Wednesday.

A sale or spinoff could also accelerate the bank's timeline for achieving a Tier 1 capital ratio of 11.5% recommended by European regulators. The European Central Bank has recommended that it hit that target by 2019, but BNP Paribas said it could reach it by mid-2017, depending on what happens with First Hawaiian. …

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