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Socgen CEO says to allocate more capital to east Europe, car leasing ops

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FILE PHOTO: French bank Societe Generale CEO Frederic Oudea attends a news conference to present the company's 2015 annual results La Defense near Paris
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PARIS (Reuters) - France's third-biggest listed bank Societe Generale plans to allocate more capital to its most profitable operations, including its central and eastern Europe units and its car leasing business, its CEO Frederic Oudea said on Wednesday.

Speaking at Goldman Sachs' European financials conference in Rome, Oudea, who last month announced he would step down next year, said he had a "very busy year ahead" and would focus on merging the bank's French retail network with that of Credit du Nord and on the development of its online banking unit Boursorama.

Oudea, whose departure will bring to an end a 15-year reign at the lender, said the bank had started the year "very well" and that despite rising inflation and geopolitical uncertainties the overall environment "remains pretty positive."

(Reporting by Silvia Aloisi, Editing by Louise Heavens)

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