Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Societe Generale SA, France’s second- largest bank, doesn’t need any new capital or long-term financing, said Daniel Truchi, head of the lender’s wealth management unit.
“There is definitely no need for a capital increase or a capital injection at this juncture,” Truchi said at a press conference in Dubai today. “The engines of the bank are still very solid. We have very strong retail bank in France and abroad, strong corporate investment and banking.”
Investors are shunning European lenders, whose shares are down 36 percent this year, on concern they will have to write down their holdings of European sovereign debt, eroding capital. Paris-based Societe Generale said Sept. 12 it plans to free up 4 billion euros ($5.4 billion) of capital by 2013 through asset sales.
“I’m not commenting on our competitors, but on the French banks and the Spanish banks I can say that we’re much lower than our competitors in terms of risk,” Truchi said. The bank, which completed a 26 billion-euro funding program in September, has no need for any long-term financing, he said.
The bank’s private banking division is actively looking for acquisitions in Europe as the financial crisis forces banks to sell businesses, he said.
“Valuations have come down,” he said. “Also some banks have to take some decision to shrink their balance sheets and a result they may sell some of their assets.”
Societe Generale’s wealth management unit had 86.1 billion euros of assets under management as of June, Truchi said. The bank is “on track” to meet its goal for 150 billion euros of assets under management by 2015, he said.
--Editors: Edward Evans, Jon Menon.
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