The 4.9-billion-euro (7.15-billion-dollar) fraud at French banking giant Societe Generale is serious but is not linked to recent turmoil on global equity markets, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said on Thursday.
"Societe Generale has had to face up to a very large fraud. It is a serious business but at the same time, it has nothing to do with the current situation on the global financial markets," Fillon said on the sidelines of the Davos gathering of the world's business and political leaders.
"I note at the same time, that despite this fraud, Societe Generale has a positive report (for 2007). I see that it has taken serious measures to cope with the situation," he said.
"I note too that the Bank of France has indicated that there is no reason to have any worries about the health of this bank and I am happy with that.
"The French government is following the situation very closely," he added.