7 April 2011

Cameroon buys Credit Agricole's 14 pct stake in SCB

(Reuters) - Cameroon has bought French bank Credit Agricole's (CAGR.PA) 14 stake in Societe Camerounaise des Banques (SCB), Cameroon's third-biggest bank, for 4.2 billion CFA Francs ($9.13 million), its finance minister said.
The deal takes the state's share in the bank to 49 percent, Lazarre Essimi Menye, the finance minister of the Central African state told journalists at a press conference on Thursday.
Credit Agricole had managed SCB through its local partnership known as SCB-Credit Agricole.
The French retail banker sold some of its stake in the partnership together with shares in other African operations including in Congo, Gabon and Senegal for 250 million euros to Morocco's Attijariwafa Bank (ATW.CS) in December 2008.
"We have concluded discussions between the government and Credit Agricole, which was managing SCB, buying over 14 percent of its shares and bringing government shares in the bank now to 49 percent," Menye said.
The government was forced to sell its shares in local banks three years ago at the height of the economic and financial crisis to buffer state coffers, Menye said, adding that it was now reinvesting in the sector to boost lending to small and medium-sized enterprises and development projects. (Reporting Tansa Musa; Writing by Bate Felix

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