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Societe Generale Said to Name Francis Repka Brazil Chief

Societe Generale SA, the French firm that posted the second-biggest loss by a bank in Brazil last year, plans to name Francis Repka chief executive officer for the country, three people familiar with the decision said.

Repka will leave his job as head of the lender’s German unit, said the people, who asked not to be named because the move hasn’t been announced. He will replace Francois Alain Dossa, who left last month to become Nissan Motor Co.’s finance vice president in Brazil.

Societe Generale’s 156 million-real ($79.5 million) loss in Brazil last year was second to the 741.7 million-real loss reported by Sao Paulo-based Banco Votorantim SA, according to central bank data. Half the French bank’s losses were from reversing tax credits from consumer-loan units Banco Pecunia SA and Banco Cacique SA, and expenses related to integrating the two subsidiaries, according to one of the people.

Brazil is one of Societe Generale’s strategic investment countries and it plans to develop new businesses there, the person said. Jim Galvin, a spokesman for the bank in New York, declined to comment on the appointment in Brazil. Repka didn’t respond to an e-mail and calls.

Societe Generale is the 23rd-largest bank by assets in Brazil, with 12.5 billion reais as of December, the central bank data show.

The French bank ranked 18th among merger advisers in Brazil for 2011, with one deal valued at $4.8 billion, and hasn’t handled any transactions announced this year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Societe Generale is one of the creditors of Centrais Eletricas do Para SA’s 2.3 billion reais in debt. Celpa, as the Brazilian utility is known, filed for bankruptcy protection on Feb. 28.

The lender dropped 3.4 percent to 16.90 euros ($21.85) in Paris trading at 3:14 p.m.

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