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FT: Blackstone To Take Control Of SocGen Property Loans

Private equity giant Blackstone Group, LP (BX: Quote) is set to take control of commercial property loans worth 100 million euros owned by French lender Societe Generale SA (SCGLY.PK,SCGLF.PK), the Financial Times reported Sunday.

According to the FT report, the deal is likely to close within weeks and would perhaps be the most significant sale by Societe Generale as it works to reduce its exposure to real estate. Societe Generale, like its peers across Europe, is trying to reduce its exposure to the real estate sector.

In mid-February, Societe Generale reported an 89 percent plunge in profit for the fourth quarter, weighed down by losses from its investment banking business. During the quarter, the company reduced its sovereign debt exposure to Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain - collectively called GIIPS countries - by nearly two-thirds.

On the other hand, Blackstone is seeking to grow its real estate business. In December 2011 Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (RBS.L, RBS) signed a deal with Blackstone to manage a fund of 1.4 billion pounds of commercial real estate loans.

SCGLY.PK closed Friday's trading at $6.58, up $0.19 or 2.97 percent on a volume of 114,681 shares. BX closed trading at $15.30, down $0.04 or 0.26 percent on a volume of 4.08 million shares.

by RTT Staff Writer

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