Credit Agricole SA’s regional-bank holders are planning to purchase as much as €1 billion ($1.1 billion) of the lender’s shares as the company reported a surge in profit for the second-quarter.
(Bloomberg) — Credit Agricole SA’s regional-bank holders are planning to purchase as much as €1 billion ($1.1 billion) of the lender’s shares as the company reported a surge in profit for the second-quarter.
The regional lenders would increase their stake to no more than 65% of Credit Agricole and aim to finalize the transactions by the end of the first half of next year, holding entity SAS Rue La Boetie said in a statement Friday. The purchases would be similar to a €1 billion move that the regional holders announced last November.
The Paris-based bank said net income for the period ending in June rose 25% to €2.04 billion, according to a separate statement. The figure was above the €1.43 billion that analysts expected in a Bloomberg survey and was supported in part by strong growth in net interest income at its international retail division.
Credit Agricole also announced a deal for a majority stake in Belgian asset and wealth manager Degroof Petercam by the French bank’s wealth management unit, Indosuez Wealth Management.
Degroof Petercam has about €35 billion under management and generated net income of about €80 million last year, Credit Agricole Deputy Chief Executive Officer Xavier Musca said in a call with reporters. The deal would increase the size of Indosuez by about 50%, Credit Agricole CEO Philippe Brassac said on the same call.
CLdN group, a core shareholder in Degroof Petercam, would retain a stake of around 20% in the business, Indosuez said in a statement
Bloomberg reported Thursday that the deal could fetch a value of more than €1 billion for Degroof Petercam, according to people familiar with the matter. Credit Agricole declined to elaborate on the value.
The transaction would impact Credit Agricole’s CET1 ratio, a key measure of its financial strength, by 30 basis points and is expected to close in 2024, Indosuez said.
Net Interest Margins
Credit Agricole’s growth for the period was supported by strong gains in net interest margins at its international retail banking unit, which saw its revenue rise 21% to €982 million, above analysts’ estimates.
This more than offset a 5% decrease in revenue at its French retail banking unit that echoed the struggles of domestic peers to get the full benefit of rising interest rates. Increases in the rates on regulated savings have raised lenders cost of funding while mortgage lending rules cap how much they can charge on new loans.
Still, Credit Agricole fared better than rival Societe Generale SA, which posted a 14% slump in French retail banking revenue Thursday.
Specialized financial services posted a 70% increase in revenue, partly because the unit benefited from the execution of an agreement with car-maker Stellantis NV in leasing and financing.
The lender’s fixed-income, commodities and currencies traders defied an industrywide gloom that hit both domestic and Wall Street rivals.
The unit’s underlying revenue declined only 1.1% in the second quarter, supported by a strong performance in financing activities, including on the primary credit and securitization markets. This compares to a 18% fall at BNP Paribas SA and SocGen and a 13% decline across Wall Street major lenders.
This allowed the bank’s large customers unit, which houses both corporate and investment banking and asset servicing operations, to post revenue of €1.9 billion in the second quarter, down 3% from a year earlier but still above analysts’ estimates.
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.