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SocGen Said Close to Selling EU800 Million of Mortgages to Axa

Aug. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Societe Generale SA, France’s second-largest bank, is close to selling about 800 million euros ($994 million) of mortgage loans to Axa SA’s real-estate unit, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

The French bank may sell the mortgages, mostly secured against French and German property, to the unit of Paris-based Axa at a discount of less than 10 percent, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

Societe Generale, led by Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea, is among European banks trimming balance sheets to comply with stricter capital rules. The Paris-based company sold 7.7 billion euros of loan portfolios in the first half, with a 5 percent average discount, the bank said Aug. 1.

Officials for Societe Generale and Axa Real Estate, the property unit of Europe’s second-largest insurer, declined to comment.

Axa’s real-estate division raised 2 billion euros in February to invest in debt in European countries including France and Germany. Axa’s division will invest “primarily” in senior debt backed by prime properties, it said Feb. 27.

To contact the reporters on this story: Fabio Benedetti-Valentini in Paris at fabiobv@bloomberg.net; Anne-Sylvaine Chassany in London at achassany@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net; Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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