France-based Crédit Agricole acquired a 9.18% stake in Italian bank Banco BPM. Crédit Agricole expects to expand the scope of strategic partnerships with Banco BPM. In a statement, the bank said “The transaction highlights its very positive appreciation of Banco BPM’s positive financial perspectives, a solid franchise, and a strong and performing management team.” They added that the deal also strengthens its relationship with Banco BPM, given its existing strategic partnership in consumer finance through the JV Agos.” Banco BPM was looking for a merger partner for a long time, in 2020 discussed with Credit Agricole but couldn’t get through. Italy’s second largest bank UniCredit was ready for a takeover of Banco BPM, but had to drop plans as the Russia-Ukraine war started. Crédit Agricole has not applied for the supervisory authorization to cross the 10% threshold in Banco BPM. Reuters notes that the transaction is expected to have a negligible impact on Crédit Agricole’s CET1 ratio.

Credit Agricole’s dollar bonds were trading marginally lower, its 7.5% perp down over 0.06 points to 106.26 yielding 5.81%.

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