Friday, April 06, 2007

Gruevski unveils entry of Société Générale in Macedonia

As of yesterday, Société Générale started operations in Macedonia as it acquired 51.6% of the Ohridska Banka's shares.

Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski announced this today in presence of Philipe Jean, Société Générale's Director for development of international retail banking, as well as of Ohridska Banka's representatives.

Société Générale's representative said that he would like to restrain from giving commentaries while the process is still under way and expressed gratitude to the Macedonian authorities for their attention and attitude towards this process, which he described as a clear proof of the good climate for foreign investments.

Asked if Ohridska Banka will acquire Société Générale's brand, Jean explained that this represents a friendly take-over, which means the local name and the incumbent management of the Bank will be retained. He added that the information for belonging to the Société Générale Group is likely to be attached to the Bank's name.

The take-over process is due to be completed by the end of April, when Société Générale is to pay 43 million euros to become full owner of Ohridska Banka.

"I believe that banking business in Macedonia will be separated in two periods, before and after the entrance of Société Générale. We expect from this bank to introduce new standards, new services, new quality of working activities as it has successful operations in 80- countries across the world", Gruevski said.

He also expressed hopes that this move will pave way for entry of more French companies in Macedonia, but also of the other EU member-countries.

Société Générale has 120.000 employees in more than 80 countries around the globe and assets of $1 trillion. Fortune magazine ranked it as 9th most attractive bank in the world. In 2006, the Bank generated over $64 billion of incomes and $5.5 billion of profits.

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