European shares down, BNP Paribas slumps on possible fine
* FTSEurofirst 300 index falls 0.1 percent
* BNP slumps on report of possible $10 billion fine
* Investors cautious ahead of next week's ECB meeting
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, May 30 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Friday, with BNP Paribas leading the market lower after a report saying the U.S. Justice Department was pushing the French bank to pay more than $10 billion to resolve a criminal probe.
BNP fell 5.8 percent after the Wall Street Journal reported the figure late on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. The probe relates to allegations that the bank evaded U.S. sanctions against Iran and other countries for years. BNP and the Justice Department declined to comment.
The bank had set aside around 2.7 billion euros ($3.68 billion) for litigation-related costs.
"We had already reduced our position slightly at the start of the year ... Now that with these headlines the stock has dropped heavily, we haven't touched it. We don't dare accumulate more at this stage," Yohan Salleron, fund manager at Mandarine Gestion in Paris, said.
"For me the worst thing is the uncertainty over the size of the fine ... There is a very real reputation risk here. It could spook certain counterparties into staying away from BNP." Continuación...