DUBAI- Credit Agricole CIB has sold its remaining 4% stake in Banque Saudi Fransi to two Saudi government-related institutional investors in a deal worth 1.45 billion riyals ($387 million), the French bank said on Monday.
Credit Agricole started the sale of its 31% stake in Banque Saudi Fransi, valued at nearly $2.4 billion, in 2017.
The move came as banks around the world sold minority stakes in other lenders amid new global rules requiring them to hold more capital against those holdings.
Two Saudi government-related institutional investors paid 30 riyals per share for Credit Agricole's remaining 4% stake, the bank said in a statement, without naming them.
"Crédit Agricole CIB remains highly confident in Saudi Arabia’s economic perspectives ... and plans to further develop its direct presence to extend its activities in the country," Jacques Ripoll, chief executive officer of Crédit Agricole CIB, said in the statement.
The bank has started a process to apply for a licence that would allow it to operate in Saudi capital markets, he said.
($1 = 3.7506 riyals)
(Reporting by Davide Barbuscia; editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter) ((Davide.Barbuscia@thomsonreuters.com; +971522604297; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))