New player redraws French banking landscape

26th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 25, 2006 (AFP) - The French banking scene could be re-drawn following a deal announced here Thursday that paves the way for the creation of the country's fourth largest bank.

PARIS, May 25, 2006 (AFP) - The French banking scene could be re-drawn following a deal announced here Thursday that paves the way for the creation of the country's fourth largest bank.

The state-owned institutional investment arm, CDC, has agreed to sell its 35 percent stake in the CNCE, the parent company of mutal bank Caisses d'Epargne, for EUR 7 billion (US $8.9 billion), CDC chairman Francis Mayer told a news conference.

The sale of the stake back to Caisses d'Epargne is expected make possible a merger of the corporate banking business of Caisses d'Epargne and fellow mutual bank Banque Populaire to form a new entity to be called NatIxis, which will be France's fourth largest bank in terms of market capitalization.

On completion of the deal, expected by the end of this year, CNCE and the Banque Federale des Banques Populaires (BFBP), the holding company of Banque Populaire, will each hold 34 pct of NatIxis, while at least 25 percent of the shares will be listed on the Paris stock exchange.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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