WESTPAC SELLING NEW CALEDONIA AND FRENCH POLYNESIA BANKS

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MELBOURNE, Australia (October 27, 1998 - Radio Australia)---Australia's Westpac Bank has entered negotiations to sell its operations in New Caledonia and French Polynesia.

The prospective buyer is the Paris-based Société Générale.

No sale price has been disclosed, but both companies expect to complete the transaction by the end of the year.

Westpac has about 200 staff in the two French Pacific territories, with fourteen bank branches in New Caledonia and thirteen in French Polynesia.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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