Societe Generale still in the race for Chinese bank

2nd November 2006, Comments 0 comments

BEIJING, Nov 2, 2006 (AFP) - French bank Société Générale insisted again Thursday that it was still in the running to buy China's bankrupt Guangdong Development Bank, rejecting reports it had been beaten to the prize by US peer Citigroup.

BEIJING, Nov 2, 2006 (AFP) - French bank Société Générale insisted again Thursday that it was still in the running to buy China's bankrupt Guangdong Development Bank, rejecting reports it had been beaten to the prize by US peer Citigroup.

Late Tuesday, China's state-run Xinhua news agency said US banking giant Citigroup has been cleared to buy Guangdong Development Bank.

"Regarding these new rumors, they are false again," Société Générale said in a statement emailed to AFP.

"So many rumors, denials and so much time spent to reach a decision are jeopardizing the future of Guangdong Development Bank."

Société Générale said in its statement that Guangdong Development Bank's staff had been in "complete uncertainty" about their future for a year now.

"Banking is a business relying on people, the motivation of the staff and their understanding of their future is key to the success of a bank," it said.

Citigroup's chief China spokesman Stephen Thomas refused to comment while a spokesman at the China Banking Regulatory Commission said they had no information on the deal.

Several foreign banks have bought into Chinese banks including Bank of America, the third-biggest US banking group, and Britain's HSBC Holdings, Europe's largest bank.

The Chinese government is keen to ensure the banks attract funds and make them more competitive before the financial sector opens up fully to foreign competition by the end of 2006.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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