French lender SocGen sells Russian bank stake to sanctioned oligarch

A French investment bank is taking a €3.1bn (£2.6bn) hit from selling its Russian unit to a company founded by a sanctioned oligarch.

Société Générale (SocGen), one of France’s oldest lenders, said it will offload its entire stake in Rosbank and its Russian insurance subsidiaries to Interros Capital, Vladimir Potanin’s investment firm.

Mr Potanin is Russia’s wealthiest man, worth an estimated $30bn (£23bn), and was placed on Canada’s sanctions list last week.

So far, he has not been sanctioned by the UK, EU or the US.

SocGen was one of the European finance giants with the largest exposure to Russia and the €3.1bn write-off highlights how damaging Vladimir Putin’s war has been to businesses that built up significant operations in the country.

Jerome Legras, the head of research at Axiom Alternative Investments, told Reuters: “It’s a bit distressing that ultimately this is an enormous gift to one of the wealthiest oligarchs.”

The Paris-based lender first acquired a stake in Rosbank in 2006 from Interros and took a majority holding two years later.

The Russian bank was then fully merged with SocGen’s other Russia operations in 2010.

Last month, SocGen’s chief executive Frédéric Oudéa said the bank would “remain flexible” in Russia, falling short of announcing a full departure like hundreds of other western companies with operations in the country.

However, the decision represents the most decisive move yet among the ­largest European banks with operations in Russia.

Austrian lender Raiffeisen and Italy’s UniCredit, who also have sizable Russian businesses, have said they are ­considering their future in the country but have yet to announce any concrete plans.

SocGen and Interros said that the deal should be completed in the coming weeks after all necessary approvals from regulators.

SocGen’s Russian business generated nearly 3pc of its overall profit last year. Rosbank has around 13,000 employees and 5m customers.

Mr Potanin said: “Interros intends to make every effort to develop Rosbank’s business, considering the integration of digital technologies and products into the traditional banking services as a ­priority.

“The most important goal of Interros is to maintain the stability of Rosbank and create new opportunities for its ­clients and partners.”

He amassed his fortune as head of mining giant Norilsk Nickel, of which he remains the biggest shareholder.

Related Posts

Will the Russian Federation use chemical weapons in Ukraine: an expert assessed the threat

Weapons of this type can be used effectively only in countries with a dry climate, noted Ivan Stupak. Russia may use chemical weapons in Ukraine / Ministry…

The Ministry of Defense of Poland explained why the Patriot complexes should be transferred to Ukraine

The Minister of Defense of Poland gave several reasons why Ukraine should receive these ABM systems. Poland explained why Ukraine should receive Patriot / US Army anti-missile…

The blogger showed what God of War Ragnarök looks like with the most degraded graphics (video)

The visual component of the game fell during the days of the PS2. The blogger showed what God of War Ragnarök looks like with the most degraded…

The Russian Army suffered heavy losses in Luhansk region: morgues and hospitals are full of occupiers – General Staff

The General Staff also confirmed the losses of the Russian occupiers in the temporarily occupied part of the Zaporizhia region. Hospitals are full of wounded occupiers, and…

How to store potatoes in an apartment all winter: simple tips

Especially prudent Ukrainians have already prepared their balconies for strategic stocks. However, there are several ways to save potatoes in a city apartment. How to store potatoes…

Get your umbrellas: Ukraine will be rained today (map)

Snow or sleet is expected in some places if the temperature drops. Weather today / Photo Today, November 26, it will be cloudy and wet in…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *