July 11, 2018 / 11:20 PM / 2 months ago

French insurer CNP's chief executive resigns for 'personal reasons'

PARIS (Reuters) - French insurer CNP (CNPP.PA), which has been at the center of recent merger speculation, said its chief executive Frederic Lavenir had resigned for “personal reasons” and added it was working on finding his successor.

“Frederic Lavenir, CNP Assurances’ Chief Executive Officer, wished to leave his position for personal reasons. His resignation will be effective 31 August 2018,” CNP said in a statement.

French media reports earlier this year suggested that the country’s state-owned La Poste postal service, which owns a bank with a balance sheet of 230 billion euros ($268.4 billion), could merge with CNP to diversify its range of businesses.

La Poste had said in February that it was in talks with the government and public sector lender the Caisse des Depots (CDC) over possible changes in CNP’s share ownership.

The CDC has a 41 percent stake in CNP, while Sopassure - a joint venture between La Poste and French bank BPCE - holds 36 percent of CNP, according to Reuters data.

Shares in CNP closed down 1.7 percent at 19.25 euros on Wednesday, giving the company a market capitalization of around 13 billion euros.

The stock has had a flat performance since the start of 2018, outperforming a decline of around 5 percent on the STOXX Europe 600 insurance index .SXIP.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Bertrand Boucey; Editing by Phil Berlowitz

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