BNP Paribas posts better than expected Q2 profit

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France's biggest bank, BNP Paribas, posted better-than-expected second-quarter profit on Thursday, even as its retail bank struggled.

Net profit came in at 2.56 billion euros ($2.83 billion) for the second quarter of 2016, up 0.2 percent on the second quarter of 2015. Quarterly revenue was up 2.2 percent.

BNP Paribas is France's biggest bank by market capitalization, according to Forbes.

Net profit stood at 1.814 billion euros in the first quarter of 2016, up by 10.1 percent on the first quarter of 2015.

Along with other European bank stocks, BNP Paribas shares slumped following the U.K.'s vote to leave the European Union on June 23, but have pared losses since then. They remain lower on the year however.

Euro zone banks will be in focus again on Friday, when the European Central Bank is due to publish the results of its latest stress tests. Banks cannot pass or fail the tests, which are designed to assess the ability of "systemically important" institutions to withstand financial disturbance. The spotlight will be on Italian banks, due to their still-large portfolios of non-performing loans.

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