French bank buys German branch of Citigroup

December 6th, 2008 - 12:19 am ICT by IANS  

Paris, Dec 5 (DPA) France’s second-largest retail bank, Credit Mutuel-CIC, has purchased the German branch of the American financial conglomerate Citigroup for 5.2 billion euros ($6.65 billion), both banks announced Friday.In a statement, Citigroup said the deal was “all-cash” and involved its German retail banking operation, Citibank Privatkunden AG, and some of its affiliates.

“The transaction is another strategic step that significantly strengthens Citi’s key capital ratios and allows us to reallocate capital to the best growth opportunities for the overall franchise,” Citigroup head Vakram Pandit said.

Credit Mutuel said the purchase would give it a strong foothold in the German consumer credit sector with more than seven percent of the market.

Credit Mutuel has more than 5,000 branch offices in France and employs nearly 60,000 people. In 2007, it recorded profits of 2.73 billion euros.

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