June 12, 2018 / 7:20 AM / in 11 days

Asset disposal plan lifts debt-laden Casino shares

PARIS (Reuters) - Shares in French supermarket company Casino (CASP.PA) rose more than 7 percent in early trade on Tuesday after it said it aimed to complete 1.5 billion euros ($1.77 billion) of asset sales by early 2019 to reduce its heavy debt burden.

“Leverage in the French business has been a key concern in the market recently driving a rapid share price decline as worries over Rallye refinancing and Casino’s French cash flow resurfaced,” Bernstein analyst Bruno Monteyne said

“This should for the moment put an end to those concerns. As in previous situations, Mr Naouri (Casino’s CEO) combines the necessity of the moment with the opportunity to sell assets that he considers to be at peak-valuations (i.e. property)” he added.

Casino’s shares have fallen to a more than 21-year low while yields on its bonds and the cost of insurance against default have surged over concerns about the company’s leverage.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Bate Felix

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