Credit Agricole seen challenging Emporiki tax verdict - paper

PARIS Wed May 22, 2013 3:03am EDT

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PARIS May 22 (Reuters) - Credit Agricole is expected to file a lawsuit in the coming days challenging a decision by French tax authorities to bar a tax deduction it sought on the sale of its Greek Emporiki unit, newspaper L'Opinion reported.

Chief Executive Jean-Paul Chifflet has given the green light for the country's No. 3 bank to file a complaint with France's highest administrative court, the paper said, without citing sources.

Credit Agricole officials declined to comment on the report.

The tax decision unexpectedly cost Credit Agricole 838 million euros ($1.08 billion), pushing fourth-quarter writedowns at the bank to 4.53 billion.

At issue is whether a change in a tax law passed in August 2012 could be applied retroactively to a recapitalisation of Emporiki in July.

($1 = 0.7769 euros) (Reporting by Christian Plumb; Editing by Mark Potter)

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