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Credit Foncier to sell 1 bln eur in mortgage securities-CEO

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PARIS, Oct 11 (Reuters) - French mortgage lender CreditFoncier is to kicks off a securitisation programme that will seeit sell around 1 billion euros ($1.29 billion) in mortgage debtin the coming weeks, the bank's chief told Reuters on Thursday.

The move comes as Europe's banks seek to cut their balancesheets in the face of tougher regulation and a sputteringeconomy. It could be a sign of confidence for a French marketmortgage-backed securities market which has been slow to recoverfrom the 2008 financial crisis.

"We will very soon launch a first securitisation programmeof mortgage bonds...We are working on an initial size of around1 billion euros," Credit Foncier CEO Bruno Deletre said in aninterview, adding insurers and other funds had shown interest.

Credit Foncier, which is owned by cooperative banking groupBPCE and which usually funds itself via the covered-bond market,plans to securitise around 2 billion euros' worth of bonds peryear by 2016, said Deletre. The bank will retain between 5percent to 20 percent of each loan depending on the type.($1 = 0.7726 euros)

(Reporting by Lionel Laurent and Matthias Blamont)

((lionel.laurent@thomsonreuters.com)(+33 1 49 49 56 85)(ReutersMessaging: lionel.laurent.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: CREDIT FONCIER/MORTGAGES