Societe Generale and Credit Agricole to engage in talks regarding stake swap

By Rizza Sta. Ana

Nov 07, 2013 03:35 AM EST

A Bloomberg report said two of the biggest banks in France were reportedly in talks to swap ownership stakes of companies it both co-owned. According to the report, Credit Agricole wanted to increase its ownership stake in asset manager Amundi Group from 75% to 80%. Societe Generale, on the other hand, reportedly planned to double its interest in derivatives broker Newedge Group to 100%.

Societe Generale Deputy Chief Executive Officer Severin Cabannes said in a Bloomberg Television interview, "(Sole ownership of Newedge) will offer us an opportunity to grow our fixed-income activities, our geographical footprint and to develop new synergies (in revenues and costs)."

Banks in France had been dealing with the effects of the recent financial crisis. This was compounded with investigations launched by global regulators regarding rate-rigging claims.

Credit Agricole revealed that it charged EUR155 million euros in its third quarter earnings as the company prepares to sell its 50% ownership stake in Newedge.

Societe Generale said its profits fell to EUR308 million in the third quarter. This was a 12% drop from profits it earned for the same period a year ago. The French consumer-banking network reasoned that provisions had risen 22%.

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