September 4, 2007 / 6:41 PM / 12 years ago

Algeria to open technical bids for CPA bank in Oct

ALGIERS, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Technical bids by six foreign banks competing to buy a stake in Algeria’s Credit Populaire d’Algerie (CPA) bank will be opened in early October, Finance Minister Karim Djoudi said in remarks published on Tuesday.

On the basis of the submitted information, Algerian authorities will determine which of the six will be allowed to make financial bids for the 51 percent stake offered in CPA, Djoudi was reported as saying by government press agency APS.

Officials have said in recent months the privatisation of the bank is expected to take place before the end of this year.

Algeria has short-listed six foreign banks for the process so far: France’s BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA), Societe Generale (SOGN.PA), Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA) and Natexis; Citibank (C.N) of the United States, and Spain’s Banco Santander (SAN.MC).

The sale is part of Algeria’s drive to modernise its banking sector and improve its ability to finance investment and growth.

Investment bank Rothschild [ROT.UL] is assisting the government with the sale.

State banks account for about 95 percent of total bank assets and loan portfolios in the OPEC-member country.

CPA employs about 4,600 people and has 129 branches around the country, with total assets of 429 billion dinars ($6.0 billion) at the end of December 2005, according to the finance ministry.

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