Credit Agricole finalizes Cheuvreux sale

PARIS Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:41am EST

Passers-by walk in front of a branch of French bank Credit Agricole in Marseille, September 13, 2011. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

Passers-by walk in front of a branch of French bank Credit Agricole in Marseille, September 13, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier

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PARIS (Reuters) - Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA) has finalized the sale of its Cheuvreux brokerage unit to rival firm Kepler, a latest step in the French bank's broader retreat from investment banking.

The semi-cooperative bank first said in July that it was in exclusive talks to sell Cheuvreux to Kepler, joining the ranks of major European banks who have slashed their equities trading activities.

A Credit Agricole spokeswoman confirmed on Thursday that the final agreement had been signed.

Cheuvreux, which is mostly focused on Europe but has offices in locations from Boston to Tokyo, is likely to cut hundreds of jobs as part of the sale, union sources have said.

Terms were not disclosed.

(Reporting by Christian Plumb; Editing by James Regan)

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