nsgb risks becoming takeover target
Last Updated : GMT 18:08:33
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

NSGB risks becoming takeover target

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today NSGB risks becoming takeover target

Paris - Arabstoday

Societe Generale (GLE) SA, the French bank that has shed more than a quarter of its market value this month, risks becoming the target of a takeover by a foreign bank, a French lawmaker said.“We’re headed for a takeover attempt on Societe Generale by a foreign bank at a good price,” Jean-Pierre Balligand, a Socialist lawmaker who sits on the finance committee of the National Assembly, said in an interview. “It would be taking advantage of the euro crisis and that’s not good for France.”The remarks underline French political anxiety about the independence of the nation’s major lenders in the face of a sovereign debt crisis that has crimped their ability to raise funds. Shares of major French banks have dropped this year on concerns about their holdings of sovereign debt in Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain and the growing reluctance of money-market funds to lend to them.Moody’s Investors Service cut Societe Generale’s debt and deposit ratings by one level today to Aa3 from Aa2 with a negative outlook and Credit Agricole SA (ACA)’s long-term ratings to Aa2 from Aa1. BNP Paribas (BNP) SA’s Aa2 long-term rating was kept on review for a possible cut.Before today, BNP Paribas had slid 41 percent in Paris trading this year, Credit Agricole had fallen 46 percent and Societe Generale had dropped 55 percent on escalating concern that the European sovereign debt crisis is turning into a banking crisis. Societe Generale has fallen more than 27 percent just this month.The market value of Societe Generale, France’s third- largest bank by assets, is now about 13.4 billion euros ($18.3 billion). In contrast, New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co. is valued at $126.7 billion.Societe Generale Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea dismissed speculation of a merger or takeover, pointing out that most lenders’ shares have tumbled and that a “big” banking merger wouldn’t help solve the euro-region crisis.“I don’t think a big merger is the solution to this crisis of confidence,” Oudea said in an interview yesterday with Bloomberg Television in New York.Societe Generale spokeswoman Helene Mazier declined to comment on remarks made by lawmaker Balligand, saying the bank doesn’t comment on speculation.Societe Generale was the subject of takeover speculation in 2008 when it said it lost 4.9 billion euros because of unauthorized transactions by trader Jerome Kerviel. French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said then that “Societe Generale is a great French bank and will remain a great French bank.

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