UPDATE 2-SocGen pares back Africa operations in first move by new CEO

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By Mathieu Rosemain and Geert De Clercq

PARIS, June 8 (Reuters) - Societe Generale has agreed to sell some of its businesses in Africa in a first move by the French bank's new CEO to sharpen its use of capital.

France's third-biggest listed bank said on Thursday it had signed agreements with pan-African banking groups Vista and Coris to take over its activities in Congo Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania and Chad.

New CEO Slawomir Krupa said in late May that one of his top priorities was to better allocate the bank's capital. The new management team is due to present its strategy in September.

The sales will boost SocGen's CET 1 ratio - a key measure of financial strength - by five basis points after the closing of the deals, expected to take place by the end of 2023, it said.

SocGen, which didn't disclose the financial details of the deals or the amount of outstanding loans it would cede, also said it had launched a strategic review of its 52.34% stake in Tunisia's Union Internationale de Banques (UIB).

The French bank, along with Citi and Barclays, is one of the top international banks in Africa. It will remain in thirteen countries there, including Tunisia, after the sales, a spokesperson said.

"Africa is a geography with growth potential, where the group... intends to focus its resources on markets where it can position itself among the leading banks," SocGen said in a statement.

SocGen's subsidiaries in Congo Brazzaville and Equatorial Guinea will be sold to Vista Group, and those in Mauritania and Chad to Coris Group, it said.

The agreements include all client portfolios and employees within these entities, it added.

The deals plan the total divestment of SocGen's stakes in Societe Generale Congo, Societe Generale de Banques en Guinee Equatoriale, Societe Generale Mauritanie, and Societe Generale Tchad, currently 93.5%, 57.2%, 95.5% and 67.8% respectively. (Reporting by GV De Clercq and Mathieu Rosemain; Edited by Richard Lough and Mark Potter)

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