Credit Lyonnais's Altus Lost Ffr200 Million In First Half, Long Options Bets In Gulf Cited

BANKS

When state-owned French bank Credit Lyonnais blamed a large drop in its half-yearly results on big foreign exchange losses in its recently-acquired Altus Finance subsidiary, observers understandably asked whether the bank had invested in a loose cannon that it was failing to control. Why have a separate entity trade foreign exchange when the bank itself has an active trading operation?

The answers to both these questions lie in the complex and specialized nature of Altus's business, explains