February 6, 2019 / 7:35 AM / 5 months ago

SocGen sells majority stake in its Moldova unit to OTP Bank

The logo of the French bank Societe Generale is seen in front of the bank's headquarters building at La Defense business and financial district in Courbevoie near Paris, France, April 21, 2016. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) - French bank Societe Generale has agreed to sell its bank in Moldova to Hungary’s OTP Bank, as SocGen continues its retreat from parts of eastern Europe while OTP gradually increases its presence in the region.

SocGen holds a majority stake in Mobiasbanca Societe Generale in the country and expects to close the transaction in the coming months.

SocGen did not disclose the amount of the transaction, although it said the sale would have a 28 million euros ($31.89 million) negative effect on its fourth quarter earnings. The amount was already included in the 240 million exceptional charge announced on Jan. 17.

The transaction will lift SocGen’s core equity tier one ratio by 1 basis point, the bank said.

Last year, the French bank had already agreed to sell its banks in Albania, Bulgaria and Serbia to OTP.

SocGen has said it intends to rejig its footprint by exiting from countries or businesses where it lacked critical size, while consolidating in areas where it is already strong.

Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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