Societe Generale

The departing chairman and chief executive of the Libyan Investment Authority has said he was about to appoint lawyers to seek compensation from banks including Société Générale and Goldman Sachs – banks he has accused in the past of causing losses worth billions of dollars.

In a wide-ranging interview published in Euromoney magazine, Mohsen Derregia (pictured), who is being ousted from the LIA after just 11 months in the top job, speaks passionately about his removal – which he is challenging – and the importance of the approximately $60bn sovereign fund. 

Russian Alfa Bank, controlled by billionaire Mikhail Fridman, announced on Monday that its Belarusian subsidiary, Alfa Bank (Belarus), will acquire Belrosbank from Russian Rosbank, controlled by Société Générale. The move followed by failed negotiations with the Belarusian authorities to buy state-owned Belinvestbank.

The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of 2012, Alfa Bank said in a statement, but the bank did not disclose the price of the deal. 

The Gulf banks, so long somewhat passive players in international markets, are flexing their muscles. As Camilla Hall reports for the FT, European banks’ retreat from far-flung territories, is creating new opportunities – and Qatar National Bank, the state-backed lender of Qatar, is among the institutions on the hunt, with a bid to buy control of Société Générale’s subsidiary in Egypt.