Societe Generale SA, France's second-largest banking company, said its third-quarter earnings doubled as its investment banking unit returned to profit.

Societe Generale reported net income of $627 million, well above the $587.6 million median estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

The Paris banking company benefited in the quarter as improving stock markets and record low interest rates bolstered revenue from its equity and fixed-income businesses.

Societe Generale said it raised $7.1 billion in a capital increase in October to pay back state funds and bolster its capital position.

Profit at Societe Generale's corporate and investment banking unit amounted to $195.9 million, compared with a loss of $353.5 million a year earlier.

Revenue from fixed-income, currencies and commodities was $966.10, compared with a loss of $547.9 million a year earlier, the bank said.

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