Debt-ridden retailer Casino relegated from key French equity index

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Casino in Nantes

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

PARIS (Reuters) - Debt-ridden French supermarket retailer Casino will be excluded from Paris' SBF-120 equity index of major companies, said markets operator Euronext on Thursday, dealing another potential blow to the company.

Euronext said Casino's exclusion from that index would take place after markets close on Sept. 15, and it would become effective on Sept. 18.

If a company falls out of a key equity index, it can reduce demand for the stock from investment funds that track the index or invest in the index.

Casino's shares have slumped by around 80% since the start of 2023. The stock closed down 1.7% on Thursday, while the stock price of Rallye - the holding company behind Casino - fell 19.9%.

Casino has been hit by fierce competition in the French supermarket sector, and it was forced to restructure after years of debt-fuelled deals started to weigh on its balance sheet.

In July, Casino agreed upon a debt restructuring deal with creditors led by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky.

Nevertheless, last month credit rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) cut its rating on Casino to 'D' to denote a likely default, after Casino failed to pay the interest on a bond.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Josie Kao)