Societe Generale SA, the third-largest French bank by assets, bought a majority stake in Moldova's Mobiasbanca for €18.4 million ($24 million) to gain more market share in eastern Europe.
The purchase of 71% of the bank will be completed in the coming days, Paris-based Societe Generale SA said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Mobiasbanca is the third-biggest bank network in Moldova, with 63 branches and 505 employees serving 47,000 retail customers, the French lender said. „This acquisition strengthens Societe Generale's position as a major player in central and eastern Europe,” the company said in the statement.
Societe Generale, led by Chairman Daniel Bouton, has spent about €8.5 billion on acquisitions abroad since 1999, including a stake in Russia's OAO Rosbank last year. The bank also is looking at opportunities in China and Algeria. Its shares have risen 25% over the past year. (Bloomberg)