Tunisia: UIB Under Review as SocGen Sheds African Businesses

by | Jun 9, 2023 | Economic, Tunisia


On 9 June 2023, French banking giant Societe Generale announced the conclusion of agreements to sell four African subsidiaries and plans to conduct a strategic review of Tunisian subsidiary Union Internationale de Banques (UIB).

Subject to regulatory approval, Societe Generale will sell its subsidiaries in Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, and Mauritania to two pan-African banking groups, Vista Group and Coris Group.

The strategic review of UIB comes as global financial pressures mount and European banks seek stability and profitability. Societe Generale holds a 52.34% stake in UIB.

Recent instability in the global banking sector, marked most prominently by the failure of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) in the US and the purchase of Credit Suisse by UBS in Switzerland, have deteriorated confidence in the financial sector.


A sale or closure of UIB would mark a significant turn for the financial environment in Tunisia. While the banking market in Tunisia is dominated by several nationalized brands, UIB is a key player facilitating foreign investment.

France remains one of Tunisia’s key economic partners and its largest trade partner. A divestment by one of France’s global banking giants could signal a deterioration of confidence in the profitability and accessibility of the Tunisian market which could deteriorate confidence among other investors. It would also remove a key banking network with significant global reach.

Our team will be watching for the results of Societe Generale’s review of UIB and the potential impacts on the banking and investment climate in Tunisia.


Explore our services or speak with our team of North Africa-based risk experts.