UPDATE 1-Credit Agricole agrees sale of Bulgarian unit

Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:23am EST

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PARIS Jan 22 (Reuters) - Credit Agricole said on Wednesday it had agreed to sell its Bulgarian division to Bulgarian bank Corporate Commercial Bank AD (Corpbank) for an undisclosed sum.

The French bank said the sale would lead to a 160 million euro ($217 million) reduction in its risk-weighted assets while lowering its solvency ratios by less than 1 basis point.

The transaction still requires approval from regulators and consultation with staff representatives, Credit Agricole added.

Corporate Commercial Bank, the Balkan country's fourth largest lender, said in a separate statement that Credit Agricole Bulgaria will be rebranded after the deal and focus on retail and financing of small and medium enterprises.

Credit Agricole's unit ranks 21st among 30 banks that operate in Bulgaria, with total assets of 489 million levs ($339 million) at the end of September, central bank data showed. It posted a net loss of 10.9 million levs for the fist nine months.

($1 = 0.7383 euros)

($1 = 1.4441 Bulgarian levs) (Reporting by James Regan in Paris and Tsvetelia Tsolova in Sofia; Editing by Blaise Robinson and Mark Potter)

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