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French bank BPCE to present strategic plan-paper

Source: Reuters - Mon 12th Oct 2009

French state-backed bank BPCE will early next year present a strategic development plan aimed at improving profitability and paying back state aid, Les Echos reported on Monday. BPCE, which was formed in July through the merger of Banques Populaires and Caisses d'Epargne, recorded a net loss of 757 million euros ($1.1 billion) in the first half of 2009.

The arrival as new boss in March of Francois Perol, an aide to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, has already led to a deep restructuring of struggling investment bank Natixis, in which BPCE holds over 70 percent.

Natixis has benefitted from several billions of euros of aid, in the form of the purchase of subordinated debt and preferred shares.

BNP Paribas and Societe Generale launched capital increases to pay back state aid, while theFrench economy ministry has said that Credit Agricole has also paid back its aid. Credit Agricole has not yet commented on the subject.

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