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SocGen's Oudea seeking higher profits in Russia, Romania

  • Societe Generale is looking to boost profits at its retail banking arms in Russia and Romania, according to a report in the Financial Times.

    Like many lenders, the French bank is cutting costs and selling assets to weather Europe's sovereign debt crisis and volatile markets.

    SocGen’s international retail division, which reported a net loss in the second quarter, is set to come under new management as its assets are sold.

    "What will be key is that at the end of 2013...we show that our international retail is delivering growth and more profitability than today," CEO Frederic Oudea was quoted as saying to the FT.

    Oudea added that Russian arm Rosbank would increase corporate activity while Romanian arm BRD would lower loan-loss provisions.

    Earlier this month, Oudea predicted that SocGen would see "decent" group returns beyond 2013 but warned that profitability was likely to fall short of pre-crisis levels.