Tenders for the acquisition will be issued by mid-October, with unpriced proposals due to be submitted by early November. Data rooms will then be opened, with each bidder being granted access for a two-week period. The sale is targeted for completion by the end of February. Bidders for the stake are expected to include Credit Agricole, BNP Paribas, Societe Generale, Banque Populaire, Citibank and HSBC, as well as leading regional financial institutions. CPA, founded in 1966, has a 12 per cent share of the countrys banking market.

The privatisation of Banque de Developpement Local is expected to follow the CPA sale. The private sale of a share in Banque Nationale dAlgerie is also under consideration.

State-controlled banks make up 80 per cent of the countrys

banking sector.