French bank quits Russia over Ukraine
French banking group Societe Generale announced on Monday that it would stop all business activities in Russia.
“Societe Generale ceases its banking and insurance activities in Russia and announces the signing of a sale and purchase agreement to sell its entire stake in Rosbank and the group’s Russian insurance subsidiaries to Interros Capital, the previous shareholder of Rosbank.
“With this agreement, concluded after several weeks of intensive work, the group would exit in an effective and orderly manner from Russia, ensuring continuity for its employees and clients,” the group said in a statement on its website.
The asset sale is expected to close in the coming weeks. According to a press release from Interros, a firm linked to Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin, the terms of the deal to acquire Rosbank, of which Societe Generale is a major shareholder, were greenlit by Russia’s government commission for foreign investment control.
As per the terms of the deal, Rosbank will continue its activities and development in Russia and retain the status of a privileged partner of Societe Generale.
“Rosbank continues to operate normally. The bank has a balanced loan portfolio and a diversified liquidity base, powerful mechanisms have been created to maintain the continuity of operations and manage cybersecurity. The bank’s activities comply with all regulatory requirements,” the statement said.
Rosbank is one of the top 15 Russian banks in terms of assets and is among the country’s most systemically important credit institutions. According to Forbes Russia, Rosbank is considered the third most reliable Russian bank.
Societe Generale is the latest international financial institution to suspend Russian operations in recent weeks, pressured by sanctions which the US, most of the EU, and a number of other countries placed on Moscow in retaliation for its military operation in Ukraine. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, Raiffeisen Bank and a number of other banking companies announced they were leaving Russia last month.
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