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Societe Generale Said to Sell $600 Million of Property Loans

Societe Generale SA, France’s second-largest bank, agreed to sell $600 million of commercial property loans to Macquarie Group Ltd. as the lender pares assets.

The loans consist of mortgages from across the U.S., according to people familiar with the transaction, who declined to be identified because the terms are private. The portfolio is separate from distressed European loans the Paris-based lender is offloading, the people said.

Societe Generale is selling assets as pressure intensifies on Europe’s largest lenders to boost capital and cut the size of their balance sheets to cope with the region’s debt crisis. The bank’s Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea said in September that the lender is seeking to dispose of assets, mostly from its money-management and financial-services division to free up 4 billion euros ($5.4 billion) in capital by 2013.

James Galvin, a spokesman for Societe Generale in New York, declined to comment. Paula Chirhart, a spokeswoman for Macquarie, Australia’s biggest investment bank, said she couldn’t comment.

The Paris-based bank also plans to halt its aircraft and ship financing activities and is selling its leveraged buyout portfolios in the U.S. and Asia, Dow Jones reported earlier today, citing a person familiar with the matter. The bank is also considering putting its U.S. asset manager TCW Group up for sale, people with knowledge of the situation said yesterday.

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