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Report: SocGen to sell Norwegian leasing unit to boost capital ratios

Société Générale SA is selling its Norwegian leasing subsidiary SG Finans AS as part of plans to boost its capital ratios and to exit nonstrategic businesses, Reuters reported, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

The sale could help the French lender in improving its common equity Tier 1 ratio by 80 to 90 basis points, according to the newswire. Bank of America has been mandated to lead the sale, one of the sources noted.

The move comes amid European banks' efforts to cope with the negative interest rate environment.

SG Finans, which focuses on equipment finance solutions, reported a 2018 pretax profit of 738 million Norwegian kroner, down from 853 million kroner a year earlier. The company's assets stood at 38.3 billion kroner at 2018-end, according to the newswire.

Meanwhile, two sources told Reuters that SocGen is also seeking to sell a portfolio of nonperforming loans linked to small and medium-sized companies to private equity investors.

As of Oct. 22, US$1 was equivalent to 9.14 Norwegian kroner.