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Crédit Agricole may sell Polish arm: Reuters
Posted on Wednesday, 04 July 2018 13:43
Crédit Agricole appears to be coming down off the fence with regards to either forging ahead with expansion in Poland or pulling out of the country altogether as sources told Reuters the local arm is “up for sale”.
According to the news provider, senior banking people, who declined to be named, said the French lender is losing traction in the low interest rate market as larger players have the scale to compete.
Reuters noted there are only two real options on the table, the other of which is to make an acquisition in the space in order to accelerate growth in Poland, which was one of Crédit Agricole’s main aims.
In February, chief executive Philippe Brassac told analysts in a Q1 2018 conference call the main issue with regards to Poland is how to accelerate development and pursue organic growth.
He noted “we have many business lines in Poland” and the real issue that needs to be addressed is how to manage them all differently, but added Crédit Agricole will seize any opportunities that come up.
Just last month, Reuters reported the bank was one of several companies lining up to acquire the Polish unit of Société Générale, which was looking into a sale following increasing pressure from local competitors.
Sources told the news provider at the time that Santander’s Bank Zachodni BZ WBK and Millennium of Portugal may also be in the running for Eurobank, which has a value pegged at “several hundred million zlotys”.
Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows several notable acquisitions of Polish banks have already been announced in the last 12 months.
In April, BNP Paribas’ local arm said it is buying Raiffeisen Bank Polska’s core operations for EUR 742.26 million.
This comes on the heels of BZ WBK stating plans in December to take over DB Securities and Deutsche Bank Polska’s retail and small and medium-sized enterprise businesses from Deutsche Bank for EUR 305.88 million.
© Zephus Ltd