Credit Agricole Reduces Stake in Banque Saudi Fransi

By Nathan Allen Features Dow Jones Newswires

French banking group Credit Agricole SA (ACA.FR) said Tuesday it will sell a 16.2% stake in Banque Saudi Fransi (1050.SA) to Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holding Company (4280.SA).

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Kingdom Holding Company will pay 5.8 billion Saudi riyals ($1.55 billion) for the stake, equivalent to SAR29.50 per share.

Credit Agricole will retain a 14.9% sharehold in Banque Saudi Fransi, or BSF, but said it was open to selling a further 5% as long as the deal was on "equally favorable terms."

The French bank expects to complete the transaction in the second half of the year and is committed to maintaining a 9.9% stake in BSF for one year after the deal is closed.

Credit Agricole has been active in Saudi Arabia since 1949 and associated with BSF since its formation in 1977.

The BSF deal aligns with Credit Agricole's strategy of reducing its non-controlling interests in companies and will strengthen its fully-loaded Common Equity Tier 1 ratio--a measure of financial strength--by around 20 basis points, the company said.

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Write to Nathan Allen at nathan.allen@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 12, 2017 03:45 ET (07:45 GMT)