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Credit Agricole appoints new chairman to lead new order

City A.M. Reporter
CREDIT Agricole’s board approved the nomination of Jean-Marie Sander as its chairman yesterday, a last key appointment in the French bank’s management overhaul as it seeks to turn the page on the financial crisis.

Sander, a 60-year-old farmer who is also mayor of the small commune in the northeastern Alsace region where he was born will replace outgoing chairman Rene Carron.

Credit Agricole confirmed the appointment yesterday evening after the group’s annual shareholder meeting in Paris, during which management tried to appease frequently testy investors and restore confidence in the bank’s future prospects.

Departing chairman Rene Carron, who has reached the bank’s age limit of 67, said Credit Agricole was a “solid” bank and begged shareholders not to “exaggerate” the bank’s misfortunes. Credit Agricole’s shares have fallen around 21 per cent this year and trade at an earnings discount to larger rivals BNP Paribas and Societe Generale. The stock closed 3.6 per cent lower at €9.38 (£8.06). The bank was alone among peers to miss first-quarter profit expectations, largely due to loan provisions linked to unprofitable Greek unit Emporiki.