RABAT-- Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP), one of Morocco's largest lenders, says it has started exclusive talks with France's co-operative lender, BPCE, to buy major stakes in four of the latter's African banks.

According to a statementissued by BCP here Tuesday, it intends to acquire BPCE's controlling stakes in banks operating in Cameroon, Madagascar, Congo and Tunisia.

The Moroccan bank aims to fully acquire Banque Commerciale Internationale (BCI) in Congo and a 71 per cent stake in Madagascar's Banque Malgache de L'Ocean Indien (BMOI).

The deal will also include 68.5 per cent stake in Banque Internationale du Cameroun pour l'Epargne et le Credit (BICEC) in Cameroon and a 60 per cent stake in Banque Tuniso-Koweitienne (BTK) in Tunisia.

BCP noted that the four banks have 1,886 employees and 117 agencies.

Earlier this year, BCP acquired another bank in Madagascar and opened a subsidiary in Mauritius.

If the Moroccan bank concludes the deal with BPCE, it will expand its presence in Africa to a total of 17 countries.


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