Russia Boosts SocGen Profits But Is A Drag For Barclays

CEO Frederic OudeaSociete Generale CEO, Frederic Oudea

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Societe Generale’s 4Q profits nearly quadrupled to €874 million (approximately $1.18 billion) and part of this reversal in performance came from the bank’s Russian retail arm according to Bloomberg.CEO Frederic Oudea hoped retail banking would push SocGen profits to €6 billion in 2012.

The Russian consumer-banking business had a €13 million profit  according to a press release on the company’s website.

Consumer finance gained steam in 2010 and went up 44.3% in Russia compared to the previous year. The company expects the division to be the biggest contributor to its international-retail earnings in 2015.

Russia is SocGen’s second-largest market based on employee figures and its primary holdings there include Rosbank, RusFinance, BSGV, DeltaCredit, SG Equipment Finance and ALD Automotive Race.

Meanwhile Barclays which has failed to compete in Russia’s retail market is planning to sell its Russian retail and commercial unit by the end of 2011. Bob Foresman, head of Barclays Capital Russia told Reuters:

“The strongest opportunity for Barclays in Russia lies in expanding our investment banking business focusing on corporate clients, financial institutions and government entities.”

Barclays troubles began soon after its $745 million acquisition of Expobank which was re-branded Barclays Bank Russia. The company announced a £243 million write-down of Barclays Russia Bank and £25 million in restructuring costs, in a release of FY 2010 results.

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