SocGen to sell two African businesses to Vista Group

PARIS (Reuters) -Societe Generale, France’s third-biggest listed bank, has agreed to sell two African subsidiaries in Burkina Faso and Mozambique to pan-African banking group Vista Group, the companies said on Thursday.

Vista will acquire Societe Generale’s 52.6% stake in Societe Generale Burkina Faso and its 65% stake in Banco Societe Generale Mocambique.

“Our agreement… confirms our expansion strategy, which aims to make Vista Bank a pan-African group present in 25 countries,” Simon Tiemtore, president of Guinea-headquartered Vista, said in a statement.

The sales remain subject to regulatory approvals, Vista said.

SocGen’s move to exit Mozambique and Burkina Faso comes on top of the already announced sale of four other African businesses in Congo Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania and Chad.

The retreat from Africa was the first decision taken by CEO Slawomir Krupa to sharpen the bank’s use of capital. It follows similar moves by other banks, including bigger rival BNP Paribas.

SocGen, which did not disclose financial details of the deals, will remain in 10 African countries after the sales.

The strategic review of its 52.34% stake in Tunisia’s Union Internationale de Banques (UIB) is ongoing, a spokesperson said.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Mathieu Rosemain; Additional reporting by Joe Bavier in Johannesburg; Editing by Jan Harvey and Mark Potter)