Credit Agricole exits Belgian operation - papers

BRUSSELS Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:20am EST

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BRUSSELS Jan 10 (Reuters) - French bank Credit Agricole is selling its banking operations in Belgium as part of a refocus on its core activities, Belgian business dailies L'Echo and De Tijd said on Friday.

Credit Agricole, France's third largest bank, and its regional affiliates are divesting their 50 percent stake worth an estimated 350-400 million euros in Crelan, the group controlling Europabank, Crelan Insurance and Keytrade Bank in Belgium.

The remaining 50 percent of Crelan, Belgium's seventh largest banking group, is in the hands of a Belgian consortium, including agricultural cooperatives.

Neither Credit Agricole, which built up its presence in 2003, nor Crelan had any immediate comment.

L'Echo and De Tijd said it was not clear who had bought Credit Agricole's stake.

Crelan has some 1.2 million customers, over 900 branches and about 19 billion euros of deposits. (Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels and Dominique Vidalon in Paris; editing by Keiron Henderson)

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