French bank looks to eastern Europe

An executive for French bank Societe Generale has revealed that the company is planning to expand into eastern European financial markets.

Speaking to the Financial Times Deutschland, the head of the bank's leveraged finance business claimed that Societe Generale planned to concentrate its efforts on private equity transactions.

Claus Peters told the newspaper that the bank had drawn up a new strategy and a business plan for expanding into eastern European markets, which were still in their infancy.

The banking executive pointed out that European private equity markets registered between five to ten transactions each year, with borrowed funds of in excess of €200 million, AFX reports.

Mr Peters stated: "That's interesting for us. We're preparing for a pick-up in private equity business in this region."

Returns from Eastern European stock markets have been particularly strong in recent years, boosted by political stability in Russia and rapid economic growth in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.

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