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Guler Buys 55% of Credit Agricole Cheuvreux Turkey Unit

Aug. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Guler Yatirim Holding AS, a Turkish investment group, agreed to buy 54.7 percent of Credit Agricole Cheuvreux Menkul Degerler AS, the Istanbul-based securities unit of Credit Agricole SA, as the French lender scales back.

Guler Yatirim plans to grow in advisory services, asset management and arranging initial public offerings through the acquisition, the company said in an e-mailed statement today.

Credit Agricole Cheuvreux Menkul Degerler had a loss of 1.45 million liras ($810,000) in the second quarter, compared with a 1.04 million-liras loss in the year-earlier period, according to Istanbul Stock Exchange data.

The divestment follows Credit Agricole’s move to sell its entire stake in Credit Agricole Yatirim Bankasi Turk AS, an Istanbul-based unit that offers corporate and investment banking, to Standard Chartered Plc.

“The remaining 45 percent is also sold to a Turkish investor who will remain anonymous until regulatory approvals are taken,” Ayse Elci Terzi, the chief executive officer of Guler Yatirim Holding, said in a telephone interview.

Guler Yatirim rose 2.3 percent to 1.31 liras by 11:33 a.m. in Istanbul trading, the highest level since December.

Scaling Back

Credit Agricole CEO Jean-Paul Chifflet is trimming the bank’s balance sheet and cutting costs, like French rivals BNP Paribas SA and Societe Generale SA, amid higher capital demands from regulators and a decline in trading and underwriting commissions. Credit Agricole is shedding 1,750 jobs at its corporate and investment-banking division and closing operations in 21 countries.

Citic Securities Co., China’s largest brokerage by market value, agreed to buy Credit Agricole’s CLSA unit for $1.25 billion, the companies said July 23. The French bank has entered exclusive talks to sell its other brokerage, CA Cheuvreux, to Kepler Capital Markets SA, and received bids from Greece’s biggest lenders, National Bank of Greece SA, Eurobank Ergasias SA and Alpha Bank AE, for its unprofitable Emporiki Bank unit.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ercan Ersoy in Istanbul at eersoy@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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