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Natixis parent BPCE eyes profit above 4 billion euros by 2017

View of the BPCE banking group headquarters during the company's 2011 annual results presentation in Paris February 23, 2012. REUTERS/Benoit
View of the BPCE banking group headquarters during the company's 2011 annual results presentation in Paris February 23, 2012. REUTERS/Benoit

By Lionel Laurent and Matthias Blamont

PARIS (Reuters) - BPCE, the parent group of French investment bank Natixis , said it aimed for a net profit above 4 billion euros ($5.37 billion) by 2017 as part of a new strategic plan designed to offset a weak economy and tougher regulation.

The plan, announced to journalists on Wednesday after Reuters reported it on November 8, also includes a target of 900 million euros in cost cuts over the next four years and 795 million euros in extra revenue from cross-selling.

Retail-focused BPCE is the first of France's big banks to give a strategic plan in the wake of the eurozone crisis and tougher curbs on risk-taking under the Basel III regime.

The bank is looking to further integrate Natixis into its network of 8,000 branches across France - particularly via insurance products - while at the same time cutting hundreds of jobs across several investment-banking lines to save costs.

Although the bank is not expected to release figures on Natixis until after trading hours on Wednesday, BPCE's statement said that Natixis by 2017 would have a return-on-equity (ROE) of 12 percent at its core businesses and derive more than half of its core revenue from markets outside France.

Larger rival Societe Generale has said that it is targeting an ROE of 10 percent at end-2015.

($1 = 0.7442 euros)

(Reporting by Lionel Laurent, Editing by dominique Vidalon)

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