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BNP Paribas to allow its Italian unit issue own funding: Financial Times

PARIS -- BNP Paribas is expected to start issuing bonds through its Italian arm BNL rather than funding the unit from parent-company resources, showing that financing in individual countries is retrenching to national boundaries, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

The newspaper did not specify how it got the information, which was not spelled out in its interview published the same day with the French bank's Chief Executive Jean-Laurent Bonnafe, who was a key player in acquiring and integrating BNP's Italian subsidiary in 2006.

Investors see BNL, which remains funded for 18 billion euros by BNP's Paris headquarters, as one of the big drags on the group's shares, the FT wrote.

Bonnafe told the paper that BNP Paribas was also seeking to expand its businesses in Asia and the United States, thereby reducing its dependence on the financially troubled eurozone. Details of the plans would be announced by the end of the year.

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