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Societe Generale to sell Serbian unit to Hungary's OTP

Author Radomir Ralev
Societe Generale to sell Serbian unit to Hungary's OTP Author: Societe Generale Srbija. License: All rights reserved.

BELGRADE (Serbia), December 20 (SeeNews) - French banking group Societe Generale said on Thursday that it has entered into an agreement with a view to sell its Serbian unit to Hungary's OTP Bank. 

The closing of the transaction, which also includes insurance and leasing activities, is subject to receipt of clearance from the Serbian central bank and antitrust authorities and is expected in the coming months, Societe Generale said in a statement.

No financial details on the agreement were disclosed.

On completion, this transaction is expected to have a positive impact on Societe Generale’s CET1 ratio of around 8 basis points and to reduce the group’s risk-weighted assets by around 1.95 billion euro. The transaction will have a negative impact of around 108 million euro on the French group’s fourth-quarter earnings mainly due to goodwill impairment, the French group said.

"This agreement with a view to sell Societe Generale Serbia to OTP Bank is another milestone in the execution of Societe Generale’s Transform to Grow strategic plan. It highlights the group’s capacity to simplify its organisation and focus capital allocation on high potential synergetic activities with a critical size," Philippe Heim, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Societe Generale Group, commented.

"In this context, International Retail Banking activities are a key profitable growth engine for Societe Generale Group and we are committed to further pursue their development," Heim added.

Besides Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Hungary, Serbia will be part of a services agreement between Societe Generale and OTP Bank that would encompass the provision of mutual services in various fields, including, but not limited to investment banking, capital markets, financing and global transaction banking. Societe Generale will remain directly present in Serbia through its fleet management unit ALD Automotive.

OTP Banka Srbija purchased from National Bank of Greece a 100% shareholding in Serbia's Vojvodjanska Banka and NBG Leasing, as well as certain other Serbian exposures held by National Bank of Greece in August 2017.

Earlier this month, Albanian and Bulgarian regulators approved the sale of the local subsidiaries of Societe Generale to OTP.