Credit Agricole renews Greek liquidity line request

Credit Agricole has renewed a request for the Greek Central Bank to grant its Emporiki unit access to a liquidity facility which has been made available to some other local banks, the French bank’s chief executive said on Tuesday.

Jean-Paul Chifflet said the request was part of a wider range of measures aimed at reducing its potential exposure to Greece, including 1.6 billion euros ($2.04 billion) in European Central Bank financing for Emporiki.

“Finally, we have seriously reiterated our request to take advantage of a direct financing line from the Greek Central Bank, via the ELA (emergency liquidity assistance), the public tool of access to banking liquidity,» Chifflet said in prepared remarks at the bank’s annual shareholder meeting.

Credit Agricole has suffered some 6 billion euros in estimated losses related to Emporiki since it acquired the Greek bank in 2006.

Chifflet, faced with angry questions and some catcalls from shareholders, acknowledged that it had been a major drag on the bank’s shares, which are down 31 percent this year. [Reuters]