(Bloomberg) -- BNP Paribas SA is shuttering its 2.5 billion euro ($2.9 billion) proprietary trading arm, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Opera Trading Capital division of the French lender, which makes risky bets with shareholders’ funds, struggled to make a profit last year, one of the people said, declining to be identified as the details are private. BNP Paribas informed employees that it has ordered Opera to close, another person said.

Opera is wholly-owned by BNP Paribas and funded with 600 million euros of capital, according to accounts filed last year. Based in Paris, it employs teams of traders in London and Hong Kong too. The fund has already begun selling off its positions, one of the people said, as it winds down the business. BNP Paribas declined to comment.

While proprietary trading -- or prop trading, for short -- isn’t banned for European banks, it has become less economic under post-crisis rules.

The French bank has begun informing prime brokers and counterparties about its plans, one of the people said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Donal Griffin in London at dgriffin10@bloomberg.net;Harry Wilson in London at hwilson57@bloomberg.net;Alastair Marsh in London at amarsh25@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ambereen Choudhury at achoudhury@bloomberg.net, Marion Dakers

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