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Credit Agricole seeks euro 6b

PARIS, May 13 – French banking giant Credit Agricole said Tuesday it is seeking 5.9 billion euros  in fresh cash from shareholders after reporting another 1.2 billion euros write-down due to the US subprime home loan crisis.

The bank said its first quarter net profit would be 892 million euros, after a write-down of 1.21 billion euros linked to the US credit risk that hit Calyon, its investment bank.

Credit Agricole announced it would be reorganising Calyon to focus on its key competencies and clients with a low-risk profile.

The group would also cut the proportion of funds allocated to these activities and embark on a general cost-cutting programme, it said.

In March, Credit Agricole, France\’s biggest retail bank, announced its net income for 2007 had fallen 16.8 percent to 4.04 billion euros in the wake of the US residential mortgage crisis.

Detailed results for the first quarter will be released Thursday.

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