Among various financial groups that sought to reassure investors on Thursday, Henri de Castries, chief executive of Axa, said that market turbulence was not a reason to panic, adding that it offered bold investors an opportunity to snap up bargains. He also suggested that investors in two Axa funds particularly affected by the market volatility should sit tight rather than accepting a rescue offer made by the French insurer and asset manager. Mr de Castries said Axa’s exposure to the US subprime mortgage crisis was “ultra minimal” in relation to the group’s size and that company profits remained strong. Meanwhile, Commerzbank, Germany’s second-biggest bank, said it was “very comfortable” with current market conditions and noted its trading business had developed positively in July despite last week’s announcement it would book charges of €80m for losses in the US subprime mortgage market. AIG, the US insurer, also sought to calm market fears about the impact of the US subprime mortgage meltdown by declaring it was “very comfortable” with its exposure.
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