Retailer Carrefour to sell stake in Greek joint venture

Carrefour, the French retail chain, is selling its stake in its Greek joint venture owing to fears about Greece's deteriorating economic situation.

It is selling to partner Marinopoulos, and will take a financial charge of about 220m euros (£179m; $278m) on the deal.

In a statement, the company said the move was in response to "challenges posed by the Greek economic context".

Carrefour's shares rose 1.68% following the announcement.

The Greek economy contracted 6.5% in the first quarter of 2012, whereas Carrefour's group-wide sales rose 0.9% to 22.5bn euros over the same period.

On Thursday, it announced that it had bought EKI, the struggling Argentine retail chain.

Heavy losses

Meanwhile, in further signs of nervousness about the Greek economic situation, French bank Credit Agricole has taken control of assets owned by its Greek subsidiary, Emporiki Bank.

It has taken over Emporiki's assets in Albania, Bulgaria and Romania, leading to speculation that it is preparing a full exit from the country if Greece leaves the euro.

Emporiki has suffered heavy losses ever since Credit Agricole bought the Greek lender in 2006.

In June, ratings agency Moody's downgraded Emporiki to just one notch above default status.

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