Now here's a first.
French bank Societe Generale came out late Wednesday and denied 'all market rumours' (without being specific), as its share price fell by as much as 23% at one point during the day.
The bank subsequently issued a statement:
'Societe Generale is reaffirming the soundness of the results released last week of EUR 1.6 billion for the first half of the year, including the absorption of the Greek bailout plan, implying a 21% write-down of the Group’s Greek government debt holdings (the Group does not hold any Greek sovereign debt maturing after 2020). These results enabled the Group to substantially strengthen its financial structure, with a high Core Tier One ratio of 9.3%.
Societe Generale is also reaffirming its ability to generate solid results in the future, confirmed by the performance registered during July and early August, thanks to the quality of its client franchise and conservative risk management, particularly in an unstable environment.
Furthermore, the Group is also highlighting its low exposure to peripheral euro area sovereign debt. Lastly, Societe Generale has successfully completed almost all of its 2011 financing plan and has substantial assets which are eligible and available for central banks’ refinancing.
Societe Generale today made a request to the AMF (the French securities regulator) to open an enquiry into the origin of these rumours, which are extremely harmful to the interest of its shareholders'.
The bank's shares were up as much as 8% in early Paris trading in Paris Thursday.